The victory of Pierre Gasly, the 24-year-old Scuderia AlphaTauri racer, marked the first time in seven years that no major racing team finished first in an F1 stage.
It has been 147 races since winning an F1 stage that does not belong to Mercedes, Ferrari, or Red Bull. The first 128 races in the V6 era, the Big 3 always won. The last time a team outside this group won was GP Australia 2013, which belonged to Lotus – the team had dissolved.
Gasly rejoiced after winning the Monza racetrack
Gasly’s victory was also the second time that AlphaTauri – formerly Toro Rosso – won F1. Red Bull’s team B did this last time at Monza racetrack, with Sebastian Vettel.
Gasly was only three months old when the last French racer won an F1. That was Olivier Panis at GP Monaco 1996. After the race, French President Emmanuel Macron personally called to congratulate Gasly, but he missed the call due to sharing joy with his associates.
Gasly’s first season at F1 was 2018 when he wore Toro Rosso. A year later, he was transferred to A – Red Bull – team with Max Verstappen after Daniel Ricciardo’s departure. It was also a time when difficulties struck the French racer – as he mentioned about the turbulence 18 months ago in his career.
Gasly had two accidents during pre-season trials. Of course, his performance was immediately compared to Verstappen – who won two stages and always ranked in the top 5 in the first 12 stages of the 2019 season. In contrast, Gasly only twice entered the top 5.
The 24-year-old racer wins points on the first stage back to Toro Rosso. But that achievement was overshadowed by the tragedy of the F2 track. Gasly’s friend and countryman – Anthoine Hubert – had an accident and died. However, Gasly still finished strongly by finishing second in the Brazilian GP, after Verstappen.
This season, Gasly is one of the most stable riders. At the Belgian GP last week, he was voted by fans as the best racer with an emotional performance, especially in the situation of overtaking Sergio Perez. The Spa-Francorchamps racetrack is where Hubert passed away a year ago.
After the Italian GP award ceremony, Gasly sat with his face on the podium to receive the prize, enjoying his emotions alone. This is probably one of the most impressive images of this F1 season.