RACE DEBRIEF

    The 2020 Italian Grand Prix is sure to live long in the memories of F1 fans. But how did what happened at Monza play out in our Power Rankings? The judges' scores are in…

    HOW IT WORKS

    • Our five-judge panel assesses each driver after every Grand Prix and scores them out of 10 according to their performance across the weekend – taking machinery out of the equation

    • Our experts’ scores are then averaged out to produce a race score – with those scores then tallied up across the season on our overall Power Rankings Leaderboard (at the bottom of the page)

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    When you get a spontaneous round of applause from the journalists as you enter the media pen, you must have done something right. In fact, Pierre Gasly did everything right. Of course, factors conspired to put him in the position to win the race. But his second start was brilliant, as he jumped past Lance Stroll’s Racing Point, while once he'd hit the front after Hamilton’s penalty, he looked like a natural-born race leader, as he cleverly and tenaciously withheld the pressure from Carlos Sainz. A worthy, and popular, victory.

    Jolyon Palmer's Analysis: How Gasly capitalised on a lucky break to take his maiden win

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    It seems appropriate that Carlos Sainz should equal Pierre Gasly’s perfect score from the weekend. Yes, Sainz wanted the win, and he ultimately fell short of that target – but he qualified a fantastic third in the dry on Saturday, while he had to clear two cars on track after the Lap 28 race restart to get up into P2 and put himself within 0.415s of victory at the flag. An excellent performance from the Spaniard, which will have endeared himself to the tifosi ahead of his Ferrari move next year.

    READ MORE: Sainz says he ‘felt rage’ at red flag that cost him potential maiden win at Monza

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    Lance Stroll admitted that it had stung him to not have been in the fight for victory at Monza – and considering at the race restart, Stroll was ahead of Gasly, and had just enjoyed a ‘free’ change of tyres during the red flag period, it’s true that it was a pity to not see the Canadian really challenging for the win. But he still held on well to finish a relatively comfortable third, scoring the second F1 podium of his career.

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    In truth, Hamilton did very little wrong over the Italian Grand Prix weekend. He was disappointed not to have been further clear of team mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying, despite setting F1’s fastest ever lap. Then in the race, he was heading for what looked to be a comfortable win when a tiny but crucial error from Mercedes saw him pitted while the pit lane was shut. Hamilton actually did very well to recover to seventh after his penalty, the Briton making up 13 seconds on Gasly despite lapping in traffic, while he was also commendably gracious in defeat.

    READ MORE: Mercedes reveal the simple oversight that caused Hamilton’s race-ruining penalty at Monza

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    Lando Norris was the second-best McLaren driver across qualifying and the race at Monza – but considering his team mate’s lofty performance, there was no great shame in that. Norris was actually brilliant off the line, jumping from sixth on the grid to take third from Bottas by the exit of Turn 5. From there, he didn’t seem to quite have the pace of Sainz, leaving him to spend the second half of the race fending off Bottas – which he did with aplomb to give McLaren a great points haul from the weekend.

    READ MORE: The Winners and Losers of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix

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    For a few laps after the race restart, Kimi Raikkonen gave us a lovely reminder of why he’s still regarded as one of the sport’s greats. The Finn was initially super-racy, making short work of Stroll and coming within an ace of nipping past Gasly at the Della Roggia chicane. However, shod on soft tyres as he was, from there the fall down the order was sharp and painful – but it was good to see the Finn flying once more, even if points continue to elude him in 2020.

    7= RIC MONZA.jpg

    On a weekend that promised much for Renault after their strong performance at Spa last time out – where Ricciardo topped our Power Rankings with a perfect score – the Australian never really looked like getting involved in the fight for the podium positions at Monza, his R.S.20 not quite as punchy in the race as he, or we, thought it would be. But judged on its own merits, it was still a strong performance and result for Ricciardo, who’s now finished ahead of Esteban Ocon six times in eight races.

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    While his AlphaTauri team mate was getting the rub of the green, Kvyat was not, losing out on a spot in Q3 thanks to a Kevin Magnussen off, while the strategy then played into Gasly’s hands to put him in the box seat for the win, as Kvyat came home ninth. It was a solid performance – but having now been beaten 7-1 in qualifying, and 5-3 in the races, by Gasly this year, and with Red Bull and Honda-backed Yuki Tsunoda currently a promising fourth in F2, Kvyat could probably have done with it being his first F1 victory last weekend.

    READ MORE: How not one but two Magnussen incidents paved the way for Gasly's maiden win

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    A shame, wasn’t it, that Nicholas Latifi couldn’t quite take a point for Williams, on Frank and Claire Williams’ final weekend in Formula 1? He was only 10 seconds off though, and it will have done his confidence plenty of good to have experienced starting in the top 10 – admittedly only at the red flag restart, but still – while he finished ahead of team mate George Russell too.

    READ MORE: ‘It would have been a nice send-off’ – Latifi disappointed to miss out on points at Williams family’s final GP

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    On a weekend when little went right for Ferrari, Charles Leclerc was once again the team’s tiny beacon of hope. Indeed, had he not lost the back end of the still-truculent SF1000 immediately after the Lap 24 Safety Car restart, Leclerc may well have found himself on the podium as well, given that he’d just passed both Alfa Romeos to take a net-third place behind Stroll and Gasly (with Hamilton about to receive his infamous penalty). A podium would have been a welcome tonic for Ferrari, ahead of a Mugello race that could be challenging once again for the team – but it wasn’t to be.

    READ MORE: Monza retirements ‘the worst conclusion of a difficult weekend’ for Ferrari, says Binotto

    MISSING OUT

    The two drivers just on the bubble this week were Sergio Perez and George Russell, Perez having done a great job on Saturday to take P4 on the grid, before a poor start and damage after contact with Max Verstappen hurt his race – while Russell similarly didn’t have luck on his side as he came home out of the points, although he’d at least been pleased by his Williams FW43’s performance.

    THE OVERALL STANDINGS

    Gasly solidifies his P3 on the leaderboard, having scored 19.6 out of 20 across the last two races, while Hamilton and Verstappen remain P1 and P2. Meanwhile, Daniil Kvyat replaces Alex Albon at #10, Albon’s struggles in the second Red Bull continuing as he finished the Italian Grand Prix way down in 15th, having suffered floor damage after Lap 1 contact with Gasly.

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