After 24 long years, France can finally boast of having produced a Formula One winner. Pierre Gasly ended a massive win drought for France, since Olivier Panis in 1996. Truthfully, it was an exciting race, as Gasly had to fend off a stern challenge from Carlos Sainz Jr.
Suffice to say, the French commentators from Canal+ were going ballistic in the final few laps. Nobody could really blame them, given that no French driver won a race since 1996. In addition to that, the race was hugely unpredictable, especially after Lewis Hamilton copped a penalty.
From that point onwards, it was anybody’s game. Especially since Valtteri Bottas was struggling, and the Ferraris and Max Verstappen were out of the race already.
The last time an AlphaTauri won a race, they were called Toro Rosso and the race winner was a certain Sebastian Vettel. When he finally crossed the finish line, there were no deafening whoops like in Brazil. Nevertheless, Pierre Gasly was still thrilled at winning an F1 race for the very first time.
He took advantage of a Safety Car period and a red flag, to place himself in second place. Later on, when Hamilton went to serve his penalty, Pierre Gasly was not about to turn down a free race lead.
From there, all he had to do was rabbit off into the distance, but Carlos Sainz managed to slowly chip away at his lead.
As the laps ticked by, Sainz’ McLaren inched closer, until there were just two laps to go. Carlos Sainz attacked with everything in his arsenal, in spite of the team telling him that 2nd was fine.
However, the Spaniard was not one to give up so easily, and he continued to hound the French driver. Eventually, he had to relent and settle for second best, while Gasly reaped the rewards.