Pierre Gasly took a stunning upset win in the Italian Grand Prix for Red Bull’s Alpha Tauri team in one of the most remarkable races in history.
Lewis Hamilton was dominating until he was penalised for being called in for a stop when the pit lane was closed. Two safety cars in quick succession mixed up the order and Gasly took the lead after Hamilton served his penalty. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz closed him down but the Frenchman just held him off to take his first grand prix victory. Hamilton fought back from last place, 18 seconds off the back of the pack, to seventh, just two places behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Gasly’s win sealed an amazing turnaround in fortunes for the likeable 24-year-old, who just over a year ago was demoted from the senior Red Bull team to what was Toro Rosso and was renamed over the winter. Gasly has been outstanding ever since, including taking a second place in Brazil last year, and few will begrudge him this win. It is the junior team’s second grand prix victory – their first also coming at Monza, with Sebastian Vettel in 2008. But it was a cruel twist of fortune for Sainz, who had been running in a superb second place to Hamilton and should have been in a position to benefit from the world champion’s penalty. But the timing of the pit stops around two mid-race safety cars and then a red flag effectively ended Sainz’s hopes. He, along with all the leaders, pitted during the first safety-car period, triggered by a breakdown for Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. This was when Mercedes made the error that cost Hamilton his 90th grand prix win, calling him in as soon as the safety car was thrown and not noticing that race director Michael Masi had closed the pit lane because marshals were dealing with Magnussen’s car close to the entry. Gasly had made his stop a couple of laps before the first safety car so did not stop again, and this promoted him to third behind Hamilton and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll for a mixed-up field at the restart. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was soon into fourth place, passing both Alfa Romeo cars into the first chicane on the first lap of racing, but the Monegasque then lost control at the Parabolica and crashed heavily, causing the race to be reflagged for repairs to be made to the barriers. The race was restarted with a standing start with Hamilton ahead of Stroll, Gasly, the Alfa Romeos of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi and Sainz.