INTERVIEW: „I can’t believe all the messages I received“ – Pierre Gasly

Frenchman talks up maiden Monza GP win and call from President Macron.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly has revealed the whirlwind of praise he has received in the wake of his maiden Formula One victory at the Italian GP last Sunday and how excited he is for the rest of the 2020 season.

After Lewis Hamilton was penalised during the race, the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver found himself at the front when two safety cars arrived in quick succession.

The 24-year-old then engaged in a game of cat and mouse with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz in the closing laps, however held his nerve for a well received first win.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 06: Pierre Gasly of Scuderia AlphaTauri and France celebrates with the team after winning the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 06, 2020 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Here is what Gasly had to say about his thrilling triumph, future battles against the young guns of the sport, and driving for the ‚coolest‘ team on the grid:

We saw you had a phone call from President Macron, what did he say? Who else got in touch?

This was the most unexpected and the best phone call of the ones I had in the last 24 hours. He just wanted to congratulate me, say he was really proud and the whole country was proud of what I achieved. We had to wait a long 24 years to listen to the French national anthem on the F1 podium. These words coming from your president are always very touching and made me realise a little bit of what we had done. It also made me proud obviously and really happy. I still haven’t had the chance to go through all my messages – it has been really hectic and crazy since the race – but I have had messages from people I would not have expected. Many soccer players like Neymar Jr, (Kylian) Mbappé, Dani Alves, (Adrien) Rabiot and (Antoine) Griezmann, but also basketballers, tennis players and cyclists. Just insane. I still can’t believe all the messages and support I received. It makes you feel special.

You are part of an exciting generation of young drivers alongside the likes of Max Verstappen, Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and George Russell – do you expect F1 will see some memorable battles between you guys in the future?

I’m pretty sure, yes! We started quite young in karting and then after we kind of took different roads to F1 at different times but now we are all back on the same grid, and we all wish to be fighting together for the same things like we used to do in the old karting days. I think we will see it in the future as well.

You all seem fearless and full of fun. How positive is that for the future of F1?

I think it is good. People said it was great for F1 because it was an unexpected podium, an unexpected win and that is what people want to see. They like when it is unpredictable. I got a lot of great feedback after the race. Hopefully we can see more races like this in the future.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 06: Pierre Gasly of Scuderia AlphaTauri and France celebrates with the team after winning the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 06, 2020 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

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