Italian GP: Pierre Gasly wins for AlphaTauri after Lewis Hamilton penalty
Stunning surprise F1 win for AlphaTauri driver just ahead of McLaren's Sainz, as Stroll completes totally-unexpected Monza podium; Hamilton seventh after stop-and-go penalty; Leclerc crash and Vettel brake failure for woeful Ferrari
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 07/09/20 6:26am
Pierre Gasly caused a modern-day Formula 1 shock by winning his maiden race for AlphaTauri after a hugely-dramatic and incident-filled Italian GP in which Lewis Hamilton finished only seventh after a time penalty.
Gasly, the 24-year-old Frenchman, just held off McLaren's Carlos Sainz by less than a second in a tense finish for a memorable and emotional victory on a day when the sport's normally-unbeatable big hitters either made mistakes or retired.
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Racing Point's Lance Stroll was third for his second career podium, with Lando Norris fourth in the second McLaren.
Incredibly, AlphaTauri - Red Bull's junior outfit and Italy's 'second' team - become the first team outside Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull to win a race since 2013.
Their only previous win, under the Toro Rosso name, also came at their home Monza race with a young Sebastian Vettel in 2008.
"I've been through so much in 18 months, I struggle to realise this," said a jubilant Gasly, barely a year on from his brutal and swift demotion back from the senior Red Bull team. "I've got no words. This team has done so much for me, now they're giving me my first win."
Hamilton led the race's early stages but was handed a costly stop-and-go-penalty for pitting when the pit lane road was actually 'closed' after Kevin Magnussen's Haas stopped at the side of the track.
The six-time champion dropped to the back of the field but raced back through to the points and seventh to minimise the impact on his championship lead. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was still only fifth after a fairly torrid afternoon after a poor initial start, while Max Verstappen retired with mechanical problems on his Red Bull.
But it was even worse for Ferrari, Italy's historic standard-bearer.
A big crash for Charles Leclerc at the Parabolica brought out the red flags after 27 laps and suspended the race while trackside barriers were repaired.
It also ended Ferrari's interest in their home event with Vettel having already retired early on with brake failure.
The German was unable to slow down his car at the end of the pit straight and spectacularly took out the polystyrene marker boards at the first chicane run-off, before slowly touring back to the pits and retirement.
Daniel Ricciardo was sixth in the lead Renault, with the recovering Hamilton's final overtake demoting Esteban Ocon late on. Daniil Kvyat and Sergio Perez will be disappointed with only ninth and 10th places respectively given their team-mates finished on the podium.
Italian GP result: Top 10
1. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
2. Carlos Sainz, McLaren
3. Lance Stroll, Racing Point
4. Lando Norris, McLaren
5. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
7. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
8. Esteban Ocon, Renault
9. Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri
10. Sergio Perez, Racing Point
How did Gasly win an extraordinary race?
Gasly had already been one of 2020's most consistent and impressive performers, steadily rebuilding his confidence and reputation after the bruising experience of losing a seat at Red Bull last August after just 12 races in the senior team.
Yet what happened at Monza on Sunday was something else entirely.
Winning from 10th on the grid for one of the sport's leading drivers would be considered a tall order in F1 these days, let alone with a car that was only the sixth-quickest in qualifying.
Yet that is exactly what Gasly achieved in one of the biggest upsets in recent F1 history.
A pit stop one lap before the Safety Car for Magnussen's stoppage proved a game-changer and meant the AlphaTauri vaulted up the order as others later peeled in for their own services.
Now behind only Hamilton and Stroll, who hadn't stopped, Gasly was third for the restart and in the same position when the race was suspended for Leclerc's heavy crash with the Parabolica barriers on lap 23.
The race was eventually restarted from the grid and by passing Stroll before the first chicane, Gasly effectively took the race lead with Hamilton soon heading for the pits to serve his race lead.
It was the very first time in 55 grands prix that Gasly had led a race and he never relinquished it from lap 28 onwards, despite the increasingly threat of Sainz's McLaren.
Sainz had run second to the runaway Hamilton in the opening stint but lost ground under the Safety Car, with the closed pit lane meaning McLaren couldn't pit either the Spaniard or Norris until Magnussen's stricken clear was cleared.
He took the race's second start and while he quickly dispatched the slow-starting Stroll, he didn't pass Kimi Raikkonen until lap 34 and by then was nearly seven seconds adrift of the impressive Gasly.
"It's incredible I'm disappointed with P2!" said Sainz of his career-best result and second podium in F1. "We were very very close. It's what we deserved.
"We had a bit of bad luck with the red flag but we've been super quick all weekend so I'm happy."