A stellar performance in Monza saw Pierre Gasly shine, nabbing his first Formula One win.
The action-packed race saw penalties fall across the grid, with Gasly grabbing the lead on lap 28 after a 10 second stop/go penalty for Lewis Hamilton.
The Frenchman’s defensive driving saw him retain his lead for 25 laps, fighting McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jnr for the top spot. The battle continued right up until the last lap with Gasly edging out the Spaniard by 0.415s
Pierre Gasly’s victory is the second for Scuderia AlphaTauri and the first since Sebastian Vettel’s 2008 win in Monza, under the team’s former name Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Alexander Albon was served a 5-second penalty, and left him with a 15th place finish. Teammate Max Verstappen’s car issues forced the Dutchman to retire from the race on lap 30.
PIERRE GASLY, Finish Position: 1st, Start Position: 10th
“This is amazing! I’m lost for words! It’s unbelievable! I’ve been through so many things in the past 18 months and it’s better than anything I expected. I focused hard when I re-joined Scuderia AlphaTauri. Day by day, race by race, we improved ourselves and got stronger and stronger – this team gave me my first podium in F1 last year in Brazil and today, these guys gave me my first win in Formula 1, in Italy, in Monza, with an Italian team. I’m not someone who gives up on anything, I always fought for everything in my life until I made it to F1. Today it was a great day! When I was fighting the last few laps to keep P1, I knew how gutted I would have been if I had lost it, I wouldn’t have been happy with P2. I gave it everything I had – it was difficult – I pushed hard at the start of the stint to not give anyone the slipstream behind, then the last five laps were so intense, I almost shunted 10 times… I was pushing so hard! My tyres were gone but I wanted that win so much, it still feels weird to say I’m an F1 race winner. A big thanks to all of these guys here at the track and at the factory, in Faenza and Bicester, it’s a great day for them too. Most of them are Italian and the HQ is in Faenza, Italy, so to win the Italian Grand Prix is amazing. Thank you all.”
DANIIL KVYT, Finish position: 9th, Start Position: 11th
“It was a very eventful race. I’m very happy for Pierre, congratulations to him and to the team, it’s a great day for us. Looking at my race, P9 was the maximum we could achieve today with the timing of the safety car and the tyre choice we went for at the start of the race. Everything that could have gone wrong with the strategy, unfortunately did, but at least it was the opposite for Pierre. It was amazing for him to take the opportunity and I’m happy for him. I’m disappointed not to have had the same opportunity but I’m satisfied with my race, I’m honest with myself and I think I drove a good race.”
Claudio Balestri (Chief Engineer – Vehicle Performance):
“What a Race! Pierre won the Grand Prix and Daniil finished P9. It’s an amazing result for us, such a fantastic team effort.
On one side, we were lucky as Pierre pitted before the Safety Car, when Magnussen parked his car before the pitlane and the pit lane entry was closed for all the other cars; on the other side, after the red flag occurred due to Leclerc’s crash, we were able to make a good start and to keep all the other cars behind for 27 laps, showing great pace. Daniil’s race was different. He was following Pierre in the first stint showing good pace despite being on hard tyres, but unfortunately, the Safety Car and the closed pit entry didn’t help his strategy. After the red flag in the second part of the race, he was able to recover positions and get in the points finishing in P9. This is a great day for Scuderia AlphaTauri, and now we will go to Mugello, trying to develop the car further with the clear target to get more points in the bag.”
Franz Tost (Team Principal):
“Twelve years after the great victory in Monza in 2008 with Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia AlphaTauri was able to repeat itself, again in Monza with Pierre Gasly. Strategy-wise, the team did a fantastic job in deciding to bring him in one lap before the safety car was deployed. Of course, we didn’t know this at that time, but at the end this was exactly the right call because at the restart of the race he was in P3 and was able to overtake Stroll into Turn 1. Hamilton had a stop and go penalty which elevated Pierre to the lead, and once he was in this position he was able to defend it until the end of the race, keeping Sainz under control. I must say Pierre drove a fantastic race. Daniil also drove a very strong race, he finished in the points although, was a bit unlucky with the tyre change. Normally, we would have liked to have called him in later, but in the end, he still finished in the top 10. This was the best possible result and we’re extremely happy. Last but not least, a big thanks to Honda for their very powerful engine and their fantastic cooperation. Now we are switching our attention to Mugello, where we’re looking to have another strong race.”
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):
“A fantastic win today for Pierre Gasly and Scuderia AlphaTauri and it’s particularly special that we can celebrate this moment together after what was the 50th race in our partnership. It was an extra bonus to get the win at AlphaTauri’s home race. Pierre’s drive was fast and consistent and the team strategy worked perfectly, as did our PU. Combined with everyone’s efforts this delivered a great result. Congratulations to Pierre especially for his first ever F1 win, but also to everyone in the team. Honda is proud of our partnership which has got stronger step by step over the two and a half years we have been together. We hope our fans around the world enjoyed this afternoon as much as we did it and we thank them for their constant support. This was also the first race with the new PU mode restrictions and we have learned a lot over the three days at the track. Now we have plenty of data to prepare for the race in Mugello next week. Even though we won, it has been a tough weekend, especially as we had a PU issue in the race on Max’s car. We will look into the cause immediately and hope that we can have another strong race next week with all four cars.”
ASTON MARTIN RED BULL RACING
ALEX ALBON, Finish Position: 15th, Start Position: 9th
“That wasn’t a fun race and P15 clearly isn’t reflective of our true package. We had a lot of damage with the left side of the floor missing after contact in Turn 1 and then with the time penalty our race was basically over. We had no grip and lost a load of downforce so it was a long race where we were just limping to the end. It’s been a tough weekend for us as a Team which we thought it could be and then with the circumstances today it’s just made it a lot harder. It’s obviously a much better day for AlphaTauri so we’re happy for those guys but for us, we need to put our heads down and focus on Mugello in a week’s time.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 5th
“I think pretty much everything that could go wrong today did go wrong. I had a very bad start with a lot of wheel spin when I dropped the clutch and from there onwards I was stuck in a DRS train which makes it almost impossible to overtake around here. After the red flag I had a problem with the engine at the re-start which we tried to solve but it didn’t go away and we had to retire the car which is of course very disappointing. Now we just have to forget this race and move on to next week at a new circuit we are all excited to visit. 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.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal
“Firstly, I want to congratulate everyone at AlphaTauri, especially Franz, Pierre and Honda who achieved something great today to take victory here at Monza. Our challenging weekend continued into the race with Max initially bogging down at the start and finding himself in a DRS train which is almost impossible to break around this track. Alex suffered damage from contact at Turn 1 which he also incurred an arguably harsh five second time penalty for, putting him to the back of the field before the safety car re-start. At the re-start Max suffered an engine issue which we were unable to overcome, forcing him to retire on lap 30. The damage to Alex’s floor from the early race contact was significant and he was losing around a second a lap throughout the race, resulting in him finishing P15. Certainly not our finest weekend but we will re-convene and work hard to ensure that we are back where we belong next weekend in Mugello.”