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Emotional Gasly struggles to comprehend maiden win in Monza thriller

07/09/20

Gasly is the first French winner in F1® since 1996.

Pierre Gasly struggled to comprehend the size of his achievement after becoming a winner in Formula 1® for the first time at a sensational Italian Grand Prix.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was coasting towards another victory only to be hit with a pivotal 10-second stop-and-go penalty for getting fresh tyres while the pitlane was closed following Kevin Magnussen's retirement.

Hamilton had to serve that after the race was red flagged due to Charles Leclerc's crash at the Parabolica and he consequently dropped from first to the back of the field.

AlphaTauri driver Gasly subsequently held off McLaren's Carlos Sainz in a thrilling Monza finale to pick up an unlikely maiden F1® triumph.

"Honestly it's unbelievable. I'm not realising what's happening right now," he said in a post-race interview.

"It was such a crazy race, then we capitalise on the red flag. The car was fast and we had a pretty fast car behind us."

It marks the culmination of a dramatic period for Gasly, who last season was demoted from Red Bull to sister team Toro Rosso, which became AlphaTauri this year.

The emotion was clear to see when the checkered flag was waved with Gasly yelling "Oh my God, what did we just do? Did we win the f****** race? We did it again" down the team radio.

"I've been through so much in 18 months, my first podium last year I was already like 'Wow, with AlphaTauri?' And now my first win in Formula 1® in Monza … I struggle to realise," he added.

"I have got no words, no words, this team have done so much for me. They gave me my first opportunity in F1®, my first podium, now giving me my first win.

"It's crazy honestly, I'm so happy. It's just an amazing day."

Gasly is the first French winner in F1® since Olivier Panis triumphed at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1996.

"That's right, Olivier Panis was the last one," Gasly exclaimed. "I always say coming into F1® that's something we need to change because it's been so long. I never expected it to be with AlphaTauri.

"We just worked on improving ourselves step by step, it's so crazy."

Sainz may have finally caught Gasly with one more lap but the Spaniard, who recorded his best F1® finish, was philosophical about the outcome.

"It's incredible, I'm halfway disappointed with P2 you know?" He said. "I wouldn't have believed that I would have had a chance to fight for victory today, we were very, very close.

"In a normal race I think I would have got P2 behind Lewis because we had really, really good pace. I think it's what we deserve but Pierre there out in front it's like 'Oh, wow, how could that happen?'

"We had a bit of bad luck with the safety car but did well to recover it then with the red flag. I'm very happy with the P2, we were super quick all week, I felt like I could dominate the midfield pretty easily today, so I've got to be happy with that."

Racing Point's Lance Stroll was on the podium for only the second time in his career and felt it could have been even better had things played out a little differently.

"I am [happy], it's been a couple of years since I stood on a podium it feels good to be back after such a crazy race," he said.

"I'm so happy for Pierre he really deserved it, he had a great start and stayed so consistent throughout the race.

"It's a bit of a bummer I think it was kind of mine to lose there starting from second, but I had no grip at the start, a ton of wheelspin and everyone flew by me.

"I had a good scrap with Carlos there in the first couple of laps, I overtook him there on the outside then he got me again down into turn one. We were battling out there, I'm happy to pick up third, I think the win slipped away today but third is great."