After the finish of the Italian Grand Prix, its winner Pierre Gasly spoke about how he conducted this race, which took place in a very unusual scenario, admitting that the last five laps turned into a real test.
Pierre Gasly: “Today we will take this big cup with us! It is still difficult for me to sum up any results, because now I am experiencing very strong emotions and is just very tired.
But this is just unbelievable, because in the morning, when I was preparing for the race and thinking about it, I thought: “We need to start well, play a couple of positions …” In general, I already had some kind of action plan, but I could not imagine that I will lead for thirty laps and will be able to win the first victory in Formula 1. It’s just hard to believe!
It was our 50th race with Honda engines, and besides, this is a home race for our team and for me too, because I now live in Milan and for the first time in my career I spent the night at home during the race weekend.
All in all, it was a very special weekend. When we made a pit stop, at first I thought that everything was lost, I could not believe that a safety car would appear on the track. Last weekend in Spa, we were also lucky with a safety car, but now I thought that we would not succeed, but then the team said that the pit lane was still closed, and maybe it would be in our favor.
In the end, everything turned out very well, because when the race was stopped by red flags, we rode in 3rd position behind Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll.
At the restart, I went on the attack on Lance in the 1st turn, and this was a key moment, because after that I found myself on a free track, because Lewis immediately turned into the pits. I was driving alone, there was no one in front – this is the best feeling I have ever experienced!
However, on the long straight lines of Monza it happens when it seems to you that you are riding alone, but I attacked very actively to create a gap. Then, after a few laps, I saw in the mirrors Carlos Sainz, who managed to overtake both Alfa Romeos. I knew that McLaren had a very fast car, because in qualifying they showed the 3rd result, and at the beginning of the race they were driving, in my opinion, in second position.
I understood that they had a very good pace, but I literally gave my best. I thought that I wouldn’t save the rubber, now I’m not up to it, I’ll attack at the limit, and then we’ll see what we can do.
I saw how Carlos’ car gradually increased in the mirrors, and after every three or four laps I realized that he managed to close the gap a little, and in the last five laps my tires were already completely worn out. In Lesmo and Ascari turns, I almost flew off the track, the car always strove to slip into a skid, but I understood that I had to take risks, because Carlos was quickly catching up with me. I drove to the limit, but we managed to hold back his onslaught and win the first victory in Formula 1.
I still hardly realize it, but I see this cup, and it says: “First place”. It means that we have won, and this is all for real! Over the past 18 months I have been through a lot, success and failure have alternated all the time, but last year in Brazil there was already an absolutely incredible moment, and I wanted to build on that success this season.
Still, it’s incredible that we managed to win the AlphaTauri in Italy – it’s fantastic! Now you can just enjoy it and celebrate the success. This is a very special moment and I want to thank everyone who sent me congratulations. Although I haven’t read anything yet, I just saw that the phone was literally torn apart from calls and messages!
Thank you all for such support! This is very pleasant, because you always dream of your first victory. I remember that as a child I watched the races, saw how Michael Schumacher won and thought that I wanted to be like him, I want to climb to the top of the podium and splash champagne.
But now we must continue to work to win the second victory. In the meantime, I will enjoy this moment … “