F1 Italian Grand Prix 2020: Galsy Races to Victory
Aditya John Mayne
15th September 2020
Pierre Gasly had quite the eventful 12 months. From being dropped in unceremonious fashion by Red Bull, and being relegated to Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri, the Frenchman became the 109th Grand Prix winner in F1 world championship history with a stunning victory at Monza. Driving better than he ever had, Gasly picked up from his losses, which was key in securing a sensational maiden Grand Prix victory.
The Grand Prix witnessed a handful of events as Kevin Magnussen's Haas came to a halt on Lap 20 after an early pit stop to replace a damaged front wing. The safety car was immediately deployed, and the pit lane was closed to allow the marshals to wheel the VF-20 off the track. Lewis Hamilton was set for a comfortable victory early into the race before the six-time world champion entered the closed pitlane at Monza after Magnussen's Haas was stranded nearby, a mistake that changed the race. The race also saw Ferrari's Leclerc crash into the barriers at the exit of Parabolica, ending his race on Lap 23 at Monza, and triggering the red flag.
The race at Monza saw young drivers take the limelight on the podium this year with McLaren's Carlos Sainz placing second and Racing Point's Lance Stroll placing third. Big names missed out on opportunities with Vettel placing last due to a brake failure, and Hamilton placing seventh after receiving a penalty due to his pitstop.
F1 saw its last French win 24 years ago with Oliver Panis winning at Monaco in 1996. Redbull is probably now reflecting on its decision to demote Pierre Gasly, given his talent. The Italian Grand Prix will leave many teams reconsidering their choices. Questions arise about the new engine mode regulations that were supposed to impact the performance of stronger teams. In the qualifying session, we saw just how strong Mercedes was despite the engine mode ban. Hamilton's stellar start to the race allowed him to quickly take the lead over Sainz, making everyone think that the race was settled and Hamilton would grab the victory. But when Hamilton received his penalty for his pitstop violation, the engine mode ban's impact became quite evident as he found it difficult to climb back up the pack.
The idea of reverse grid races in place of qualifying to mix things up and challenge stronger teams again falls into controversy as F1 promoters are keen on the concept. Yet, many believe the idea to be a gimmick and unsportsmanlike. Ferrari's Vettel stated that reverse grid races would be a sign that F1 has failed.
(Sources: Formula 1, Autosport, The Race)
Edited by Pratheek S