Team Talk – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
We all knew (and expected) that this race would bring us some battles and excitement but no one could have imagined what would unfold.
What seemed like a normal race started off with Lewis Hamilton maintaining the lead, setting the fastest lap times and getting well ahead into the distance – leaving the rest of the pack behind.
The same couldn’t be said for his team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, who lost places and momentum, mentioning over the team radio that he wasn’t able to drive the car comfortably.
Ferrari, well, let’s not go there! The team seems to be going from bad to worse and I really can’t believe what I’m seeing from team with such calibre….
Both drivers ended up out of the race.
Fast forward and we see Lewis Hamilton with a penalty due to the team calling him into the pits – whilst it was closed, leaving him with a 10-second pit stop penalty and from 1st, he dropped back to 10th and made his way up to 7th.
Overall, this was a race lost for him due to a team mess up.
No one expected the restart of the race (the session was red-flagged) to bring us such a unique twist – with Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll making it to the top 3 drivers with Lando Norris in P4.
For Pierre Gasly, I’d say he played all the cards right and maintained his ‘cool’ with the pressure from Carlos, especially towards the end but really – this was luck.
I’d also say the same for Lance Stroll. Yes he managed to get a good restart but he still lost places in key moments when he could have overtaken so again, his position – I’d also say this was luck due to the situation with some of the top drivers, like Hamilton, getting a penalty. (Just like Baku)
Now for Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris – I’d say they are worthy drivers. They have remained consistent even when the car wasn’t performing as well as it should be and we have seen many glimpses of quality racing and both drivers pushing their cars to the limit.
They’re two drivers (in my opinion) who are worthy of more podiums and potentially race wins.
Well done and congratulations to Pierre Gasly for the race win – it was a wonderful moment to see him cross the line and whilst I do think luck played a major part, it’s great to see different winners and especially different teams.
This is what I love about the sport, there’s races like this when everything changes – we have battles, racing and results like this which I love.
Pierre Gasly – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
Pierre Gasly, 1st
“This is amazing! I’m lost for words! It’s unbelievable! I’ve been through so many things in the past 18 months and it’s better than anything I expected. I focused hard when I re-joined Scuderia AlphaTauri.”
“Day by day, race by race, we improved ourselves and got stronger and stronger – this team gave me my first podium in F1 last year in Brazil and today, these guys gave me my first win in Formula 1, in Italy, in Monza, with an Italian team.”
“I’m not someone who gives up on anything, I always fought for everything in my life until I made it to F1.”
“Today it was a great day! When I was fighting the last few laps to keep P1, I knew how gutted I would have been if I had lost it, I wouldn’t have been happy with P2.”
“I gave it everything I had – it was difficult – I pushed hard at the start of the stint to not give anyone the slipstream behind, then the last five laps were so intense, I almost shunted 10 times… I was pushing so hard!”
“My tyres were gone but I wanted that win so much, it still feels weird to say I’m an F1 race winner. A big thanks to all of these guys here at the track and at the factory, in Faenza and Bicester, it’s a great day for them too. Most of them are Italian and the HQ is in Faenza, Italy, so to win the Italian Grand Prix is amazing. Thank you all.”
Carlos Sainz – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
“Well, what a race! Extremely happy to land a P2 here in Monza! Days like today are what make our sport so intense and rewarding. I’m especially proud because I think today we got this podium on pure pace, which is a great achievement!”
“I was fast from start to finish and could maintain a great pace throughout the whole race. Without the red flag, being the first car legally on a stop, I could’ve won the race after Lewis got a penalty during the first Safety Car.
“It’s obviously impossible to be too disappointed with P2, but I wanted that win! I did my best to move quickly through the field after the restart and catch Gasly towards the end.”
“Probably missed out by one lap! Still, super happy! Thank you to the whole race team for a great effort all weekend and to everyone back at the factory. We deserve it! On to Mugello.”
Lando Norris – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
“A really good race for me and us as a team. I had a great start and got ahead of three people into P3.”
“I was really happy and we were controlling the pace well compared to some faster cars, but once everything settled down it’s also very difficult to overtake. The whole race was going really well until the red flag. Some people benefitted and got very lucky, so it’s a shame.
“We put in a lot of hard work to put ourselves in a good position, but the rule allowing teams to change the tyre before the restart worked against us and meant that we lost out.”
“It’s a frustrating rule, and one that I hope can be looked at and reviewed. We could’ve had a double podium on merit today, but we lost out to that and the pitlane re-opening. But, I don’t think we could’ve done much more so I’m happy with what I did. I’m also so happy for the team, it’s an amazing result for us all.”
Lewis Hamilton – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
“Huge congratulations to Pierre, it’s a fantastic result for him and it’s great to see such a young podium.”
“Obviously, I’ve seen what Pierre’s been through, being dropped from a top team and then beating that top team today. It’s fantastic to see him recover and see him grow, so I’m very happy for him.”
“My race wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t see the boards saying the pit lane was closed because I was following the safety car delta on my dash, so I take responsibility for that and it’s something that we’ll investigate and learn from.”
“That stop/go pit stop was long, and I had 26 seconds to catch up to the next car. I was giving it absolutely everything. I honestly didn’t expect to get seventh and fastest lap at that point in the race.”
“I took a lot of life out of the tyres closing the gap and there was a lot of turbulence from the other cars, which made it hard to follow them. But once I caught up to everybody, it was a fun battle and I still got some good points.”
“I’ll definitely take the result and am grateful for it. We’ll move onto the next one and I look forward to it.”
Valtteri Bottas – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
“That was a difficult day out there. The start was pretty poor and on the first lap, I had a bit of contact and thought I had a puncture, but it turned out I didn’t.”
“I had massive understeer and the car was pulling to one side. It recovered but then I was suffering some overheating issues with the engine running in traffic, so there wasn’t much I could do.”
“Every time I got close to another car, I had to back off due to the overheating or look for clean air on the straights, which meant I couldn’t get the tow. It felt a bit better after the red flag and towards the end of the race, but there’s lots of things for us to review and understand.”
“We’ll debrief and then move onto Mugello. We should have a good car there but it’s going to be tough to overtake, so qualifying will be crucial.”
Sebastian Vettel – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
“This is a very difficult moment for the whole team and as part of it, I am suffering along with everyone else. But this is our reality right now and we need to try and do the best we can, to have a worthwhile final part of the season with still plenty of races to go.”
“We have a lot of work to do and we have to be focused on that.”
“As for my race it was very short as almost immediately I had an issue with brakes.”
“I went on the brakes in the first chicane but the car didn’t slow and I had to drive through the run-off area. Actually it was the best possible spot to have the issue.”
“We have to keep our heads up, even if it is difficult. Now we head to Mugello, a completely different track and maybe there we could be in a bit of a better place.”
“Hopefully we can have a clean weekend.”
Charles Leclers – 2020 Italian Grand Prix
“It was a very difficult race and I struggled quite a lot with the balance. I thought at first we were unlucky when the safety car came out, but due to the fact the pit-lane remained closed, we were actually pretty lucky.”
“We were in a very good place at that point, but I was struggling a lot on the hard tyres. I tried to push but then I made a mistake, lost the rear and crashed at Parabolica.”
“The crash was quite a big one but I am ok. A bit of pain here and there, which is quite normal.”
“We have had two difficult weekends for the team, but it’s like this at the moment and I hope we can bounce back, so I am looking forward to Mugello.”