Lewis Hamilton congratulated Pierre Gasly on his first F1 victory at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Briton highlighted Gasly’s determination to come back so strongly after being demoted in mid-season from the Red Bull squad five months after being hired last year. Gasly believes his victory for AlphaTauri proved he was ready to receive another chance with Red Bull.
Gasly won at Monza after fending off a concerted attack in the final laps of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who was in a faster car. Hamilton was leading comfortably until he received a penalty for entering the pit lane when it was closed. It spoiled his chances but after the race was brought to a halt due to Charles Leclerc’s crash, Gasly emerged close to the front and quickly took the lead. The 24-year-old Frenchman held on and showed great skill to wrap up the most unlikely of victories.
It’s a remarkable comeback after the blow to be fired from Red Bull. Gasly started his career with Toro Rosso – now renamed AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s junior squad – in 2017. He was promoted to Red Bull in 2019 but unable to compete with Max Verstappen and lasted 12 races before being dropped in favor. by Alexander Albon. Red Bull did not have a successful Italian Grand Prix with Verstappen retiring early due to an engine block problem and Albon finishing 15th.
Hamilton recently played Call of Duty online with Gasly and, although disappointed to finish seventh at Monza, he acknowledged the Frenchman’s achievement. “Pierre is just a really nice guy and he’s a lot of talent and I don’t think he was necessarily treated fairly at Red Bull when he was demoted,” he said.
“It’s not easy for a driver when this happens, so I’m sensitive to that. To then build confidence in a team not as fast and then come up with a very good performance that he has already had this year with this car and then get a victory, it’s not easy.
« [I was] really impressed. He did a fantastic job. He deserves the
success and I hope this creates an opportunity for him. Plus, he beat the team that demoted him, so it’s going to hurt them.
The victory, the team’s second in F1 after Sebastian Vettel also took the flag at Monza in 2008, capped a series of strong performances for Gasly. With remarkable, notably second at the Brazilian GP in 2019, where he held off Hamilton in their momentum for the line and a remarkable pass over Sergio Pérez via Eau Rouge at the Belgian GP last week. He has five points finishes in eight races this season.
It was the first time a French driver has achieved an F1 victory since Olivier Panis for Ligier at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix and Gasly said he missed a congratulatory phone call from the President of France Emmanuel Macron, while he was celebrating after the race.
Gasly has repeatedly stressed his intention to rebuild his career at AlphaTauri and, although he did, Albon struggled alongside Verstappen at Red Bull. A return for the Frenchman next year is already presented as a possibility.
“I think I’m ready, but it’s not for me to make that call,” he said. “The only thing I’ve done since they brought me back to Toro Rosso is to focus on myself and just show what I can do when I have the right tools in hand.
“There have been many, many good riders at Toro Rosso. I’m really happy to be one of the two who managed to get a win for this team. I guess good results should be rewarded with something, but we’ll see what happens. ”