Pierre Gasly wins Italian Grand Prix


MONZA, ITALY - France’s Pierre Gasly won an astonishing and nail-biting Italian Grand Prix for Italy-based AlphaTauri on Sunday in a race with none of the usual names on the podium.

McLaren’s Spaniard Carlos Sainz finished second with Racing Point’s Lance Stroll third and Mercedes’ championship leader Lewis Hamilton finishing seventh after starting on pole position and dropping to last. 

The victory was a first in Formula One for Gasly and the first for a French driver since Olivier Panis in 1996.

The race was red-flagged and brought to a halt after Ferrari's Charles Leclerc crashed heavily into the barriers after slewing off the track at the Parabolica.

The Monegasque driver was unhurt and walked away from the high-speed crash, but severe damage to the barriers required repairs.

The race restarted after a 25-minutes delay with championship leader and six-time champion Hamilton leading the pack from a standing start.

But he had been given a 10-seconds stop-go penalty for taking a pit-stop while the pit-lane was closed after Kevin Magnussen had pulled up and parked his Haas car in the pit-lane.

After the chaos created by Leclerc's accident and a Safety Car interruption, Stroll was second, ahead of Gasly.

Hamilton "won" the restart on lap 28 and pulled clear as Stroll cut the first chicane.

Hamilton pitted after that lap to serve his penalty, gifting the lead to Gasly with Kimi Raikkonen third for Alfa Romeo.

He rejoined 17th and last, 30 seconds adrift of Gasly.

Crash-victim Leclerc had won last year's race from pole position.

His exit after 25 laps of the 53 followed the earlier retirement of outgoing team-mate Sebastian Vettel with brake failure.

Ferrari's premature exit completed a miserable weekend for the most decorated team in Formula One which failed to get one car in the top ten on the grid on home soil for the first time since 1984.

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