Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll were over the moon with the shock result in F1 Italian GP as rivals drop in praises for the Top 3.
The F1 Italian GP at Monza already looked like to be a good one despite Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton leading before the red flag as McLaren’s Sainz and Lando Norris made a rocketing start to be second and third, while Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull dropped behind.
It looked like a golden moment for the likes of McLaren, Racing Point and Renault, due to the struggles faced by others. But the red flag only made it much more shocking along with a penalty to Hamilton as it handed a Top 3 which no one thought about.
Gasly had only pitted but still had the advantage as the pitlane closure did not allow anyone to take a free stop. They eventually got it under the red flag, especially, Stroll. The Canadian, though, lost it upon re-start with both Gasly and Sainz getting through.
In fact, he dropped further but came back up to third. It was Sainz chasing Gasly though but it wasn’t to be as the Frenchman scored his first win by 0.415s with Stroll completing the podium as the trio had their second of their F1 career.
Post-race, it was euphoric moment, not just for the three and their teams but also for the whole paddock, who equally celebrated the rare moment, seeing a non-Mercedes, non-Ferrari and non-Red Bull Top 3 in a long-long time. The long list of calls for Gasly included French President Emmanuel Macron.
Here’s how the Top 3 reacted:
Pierre Gasly – On becoming a F1 grand prix winner:
Gasly: “It’s amazing. Honestly, I’m lost for words right now. I’m still struggling to realise what’s happened for us. My first win in F1, a couple of months ago I got my first podium in Brazil and then today it’s my first win, in Monza with AlphaTauri, which is an Italian team. It could not have been better and we worked so hard, day by day, race after race, after everything that happened to me in the last 18 months, I could not have hoped for a better way to get my first win.”
How big the win is:
Gasly: “How big it is? Personally I know how important it was for me to get my first race win in Formula 1 and in the end it’s only my third season in F1, even though I’ve been through a lot in the last two years, I still feel I’m quite new to this world and improving year after year and just getting better the whole time. So, I would have never expected that a year ago when I got back to Toro Rosso. The podium was already unexpected and a big, big highlight last year.
“And then I wasn’t ready for that win today, even though you always try to imagine the best scenario, the best car, the best race, everything the best way. We know that it happened only once in the whole history of Toro Rosso in Formula 1. Franz actually told me, “you know we’ve done it in the wet, I’m really proud of you because today we’ve done it in the dry now.” Yeah, it was very difficult but I’m just happy to show my speed. I’ve worked on myself day after day, race after race since last year and just trying to get stronger all the time. I’m really happy that today I get the reward for all the hard work that we’ve done with AlphaTauri and also with Honda.”
Moment on the podium:
Gasly: “I had so many things to think. I know these kind of moments go very fast like Brazil last year, afterwards I was thinking, I wish I had more time on the podium to enjoy that kind of emotion even more, it was amazing, I just wanted to take the time really, trying to figure out what was really happening to me. It was just amazing, I had a lot of thoughts in my mind, I just wanted to take the time to enjoy that. I wish there were thousands of fans down there, everybody says Monza is the craziest place to win because we know Italians are so passionated here, I wish I could have felt that energy but there was already so much emotions, it was fantastic.”
Carlos Sainz – On ever closer to win:
Sainz: “My tyres were four laps older and obviously I was struggling also. But the pace we had today was incredible. Honestly, the gap that I managed to open with the rest of the midfield in the first stint and after that, managing to go through the whole five cars I had in front to end up chasing Pierre. Definitely felt really nice and felt like I had a good shot for victory. Then once I got to 1.5s I got stuck. The tow, as we see with these cars and the dirty air, starts affecting you a lot in traction, in braking.
“Mini lock-ups, oversteers and I think we were both a bit rallying for a minute because we were both struggling with tyres. But yeah, happy. Happy to finish in P2. Obviously disappointed to not get the win because today we had a lot of pace and we felt that without that red flag it would have been a different story because I know I was the virtual race leader with Hamilton’s penalty. But that red flag came, and I managed to recover my positions and made it nearly to Pierre – which would have been nice but I think he deserves it and congrats.”
Lance Stroll – On missing at re-start, return to podium:
Stroll: “It’s been a couple of years since I stood on a podium. It feels good to be back. It was such a crazy race. I’m so happy for Pierre. He really deserved it. He had a great start and he just stayed consistent all the way throughout the race. It’s a bit of a bummer as I think it was mine to lose, starting from second.
“But I just had no grip at the start and I had a ton of wheel spin and everybody flew by me. I had a good scrap with Carlos there in the first couple of laps. I overtook him around the outside and then he got me again into Turn 1. We were battling out there and I’m happy to pick up third. I think the win slipped away from us today but third is great.”
Here’s how the whole grid reacted to the Top 3 –
Daniel Ricciardo: “Congrats to Pierre, I’ll say it this way, even if the circumstances were in his favour, it is still, having those re-starts and red flag, it is not easy because you build up all the adrenaline, you try to cool yourself and then jacked up again, mentally, it is really hard but it is fun. I like it. Even then, for him to maintain that for his first win, around the track which is an overtakable style circuit, he deserves to him.”
Lewis Hamilton: “Firstly Pierre is just a really nice guy, and I think he has a lot of talent, and I think he was, I don’t think he was necessarily treated fairly at Red Bull in the end when he got promoted, and I think it’s not easy for a driver when that happens, so I empathise with that. I think to then build the confidence up in not necessarily as quick a team, and build the confidence up, and to come around with some really great performances he’s had this year already, and then to get himself a win, I think it’s not easy to do that. Really impressed. I think he’s done a fantastic job, and deserves the success and hopefully that creates an opportunity for him moving forwards. It’s also, he beat the team that demoted him. That’s definitely got to hurt for them. It was unfair of him to be demoted but he deserves this win.”
Romain Grosjean: “Pierre is a great guy, it wasn’t simple for him last year. So, it is fantastic, amazing, viva le France. Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say about my race, because it is Pierre, Pierre, Pierre. I am so happy for him, he deserves so much. For us it was difficult but expected. It’s been a more important day for Gasly, it was a fantastic win for France, and for him after a tough year last year. It’s been 24 years since there was a French winner in Formula One – since Olivier Panis in Monaco in 1996.”
George Russell: “It feels real shame because the car was feeling really good, we were just very slow on the straights even though I was much quicker than the guys around me, everytime I overtook me, they would just re-pass me. We were very unfortunate with the red flag incident and not pitted, had we pitted, we could have been on good points, but that’s the luck sometimes. I am really happy to see the Top 3 as much as I love to see Mercedes. It is amazing to see three young guys, taking over.”
Max Verstappen: “It may not have been our weekend but I am very happy for Pierre as AlphaTauri have been very fast all weekend and to win here in Italy is very emotional and a great result for them. They are a great group of people and I hope they are going to enjoy this one tonight because they all deserve it.”
Toto Wolff: “It was a lost race for Mercedes, but a victory for all of Formula 1. It is so refreshing to see the podium, and the young guys fighting at the front. I looked at the podium, and it was great. They all deserved it, their teams made the right calls, they drove very well, their battle for the victory was good, and seeing them up there was very good news for the sport.
“I obviously know Lance very well, and he really deserved to be there, it’s his second podium, he’s been on the front row here in Monza, so this is a track that suits him. And for the others, congratulations. Alpha Tauri, previously Toro Rosso, had a win here with Seb, so it seems to be going well for them too. And with Carlos, it was overdue. He was on the podium for McLaren [in Brazil], but it was a fantastic race.”
Andreas Seidl: “Congratulations to Alpha Tauri and Pierre Gasly for this great win, and congratulations to every single member of our team. It was a great result for us, mixed feelings a bit, but at the same time we also benefitted from issues Mercedes had. [I’m] very happy, big thank you to everyone at home also.”
"First of all, I would like to send my sincere congratulations to Pierre. Pierre, you did it!! It was a dramatic race and I was very nervous and excited from start to finish."
— Honda Racing F1 (@HondaRacingF1) September 7, 2020
Here’s video of Pierre Gasly and team celebrating: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/9/Pierre_Gasly_gets_the_bumps_after_maiden_win_at_the_2020_Italian_Grand_Prix.html
Here’s how French TV reacted: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/9/French_TV_commentators_go_wild_for_Pierre_Gasly%27s_Monza_win.html
Here’s what Pierre Gasly said on radio: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/9/EXCLUSIVE__Listen_to_Pierre_Gasly%27s_euphoric_radio_celebrations_in_full.html
Here’s how F1 Italian GP panned out
Here’s what happened with Mercedes