Overjoyed Pierre Gasly Wins The Italian Grand Prix
The 2020 Italian Grand Prix was dominated by Lewis Hamilton but won by Pierre Gasly. Hamilton had the race in the bag and was almost certain to leave Monza with yet another win. And better still, teammate Valterri Bottas made a poor start from second and languished in 6th place for much of the race. Better still for Hamilton, the Red Bulls were struggling, Max Verstappen was off the pace (later retired) and Alex Albon was in no man’s land. This was the moment for Hamilton to extend his lead over his key rivals in the hunt for the 2020 F1 drivers championship. But the racing gods had other ideas. And if you don’t believe in racing Gods they do exist, it’s called the betting industry.
But not even the betting touts could conjure such odds of an Alpha Tauri winning a race in 2020. Particularly against the might of the Mercedes and especially with Hamilton at the wheel. On this day an angel descended and performed a good old fashion miracle. That angel appeared in the human form of Kevin Magnussen who broke down on lap 19.
Magnussen parked his Hass on the grass verge after the exit of the high-speed Parabolica corner. This triggered a safety car and the closure of the pit lane to allow the marshalls to push the stricken Hass back into the nearby park ferme. No one told Mercedes that the pits had closed and Mercedes did not inform Hamilton who entered the pitlane unawares for a change of tyres.
This very act changed the course of the race. What was an otherwise certain victory became a 10-second penalty. Before he had time to serve the penalty the race was red-flagged as Charles Leclerc had a massive off at the Parabolica on lap 25. He survived unscathed but his SF1000 didn’t.
And when the race resumed some 30 minutes later, the grid order had, in effect reversed, up is down down is up. Hamilton was still in the lead at this point but had to serve his penalty and did so immediately. He rejoined plum last. Although Hamilton did manage to claw his way back to 7th. Ahead of him, Gasly secured victory by just over one second ahead of a Carlos Sainz in the McLaren with Lance Stroll in the Force India rounding up a totally unexpected top-three result.
2020 Italian Grand Prix Results: