Gasly ecstatic after clinching ‘crazy’ success in Monza

Pierre Gasly said he was was struggling to take it all in after clinching his maiden F1 victory on Sunday in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

He’s the first Frenchman to claim victory in a Formula 1 race since Olivier Panis in Monaco in 1996. And it’s the first time that the team has won a Grand Prix since Sebastian Vettel’s success for the then-Toro Rosso squad here at Monza in 2008.

Gasly was in the right place at the right time to take the lead after Lewis Hamilton was given a ten second stop-go penalty for making a stop when the pit lane was closed.

  • RACE REPORT: Gasly takes shock win over Sainz and Stroll in Monza

“Honestly it’s unbelievable,” Gasly told the media after the end of the race. “I’m not realising what is happening right now. It was such a crazy race. We capitalised on the red flag.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz hunting him down in the final laps, but Gasly was able to keep ahead all the way to the chequered flag.

“The car was fast out there, we had a pretty fast car behind us,” he said. “It’s a power sensitive track and we won the race out of all the Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault cars. Just an amazing day.”

Today’s success caps a roller coaster ride for Gasly, who started 2019 having been chosen to drive for Red Bull, only to be quickly demoted back to the junior team over the summer.

He went on to have a breakthrough success at Brazil a few months later where he finished on the podium for the first time, but now he’s gone one better with his maiden win.

“I’ve been through so much in the space of 18 months. My first podium last year, I was already like ‘wow’ with AlphaTauri, and now my first win in Monza. I’m struggling to realise.

“This team have done so much for me. They gave me my first opportunity in F1, they gave me my first podium. Now they are giving me my first win.

“It’s crazy, honestly. It’s just crazy. I’m so happy. I can’t thank them enough, everybody from AlphaTauri to Honda.”

Gasly added that it had been his ambition to put France back at the top of world motorsport, but admitted that the way it had happened had been a surprise.

“I never expected that it would happen to us with AlphaTauri. We just kept focusing on ourselves since last year, working improving step by step.

“I’ve always said coming in F1 that’s one thing we need to change, because it’s been so long,” he added.

“It’s crazy, honestly. I’m just so happy.”

Gasly’s victory on Sunday breaks a run of 146 races won by drivers from the Big Three teams Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

It’s 2,730 days since the last win by a driver from another team, which was Kimi Raikkonen for Lotus in Australia at the start of the 2013 season.

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