Pierre Gasly rebuilt his reputation in 2020, becoming France’s first Grand Prix winner in over 24 years. Here are the facts and statistics from Gasly’s 2020 F1 season!
One of the highlights of the 2020 season for most F1 fans was Pierre Gasly’s shock win at the Italian Grand Prix – in part due to there being a surprise winner, in part due to it being the Red Bull junior team’s first win in twelve years, but mostly because it proved that Gasly’s career was back on track. Dropped from Red Bull halfway through 2019, Gasly began to impress again on his return to Toro Rosso, recording a podium finish at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. His strengths were even more apparent in 2020, recording points in ten of the season’s seventeen races and reaching Q3 eleven times.
Gasly scored 70% of AlphaTauri’s points this season, and out-qualified team-mate Daniil Kvyat on all but four occasions. Other notable performances included sixth places at the Eifel and Bahrain Grands Prix and fifth place at the Portuguese Grand Prix. He also qualified in a strong fourth place for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, only to be let down by reliability issues in the race.
Gasly will remain at AlphaTauri in 2021, partnering rookie Yuki Tsunoda. If Gasly can continue performances shown in 2020, it will only be a matter of time before Red Bull – or another front-running team – comes calling again.
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: After finishing in seventh place at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly maintained his 100% finish record at the event. The Frenchman has also gained positions from where he started on all three Austrian Grand Prix outings. He was the only Honda-powered car to finish the 2020 race.
Styria: Pierre Gasly failed to score at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix, but did at least maintain his 100% finishing record at the Red Bull Ring and made this only the second race in Austria where both AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso) cars have reached the chequered flag. On Saturday, Gasly qualified in eighth, becoming the team’s first driver to reach Q3 in Austria since Carlos Sainz did so in 2017.
Hungary: On his 50th Grand Prix appearance, Pierre Gasly was the only retirement from the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix. It was the first time that the Frenchman has failed to finish at the Hungaroring. He finished sixth on both of his previous visits to the circuit. It was Gasly’s first retirement since the 2019 German Grand Prix. He became the first driver to retire having started tenth on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix since Kimi Raikkonen in 2004.
Britain: With seventh place, Pierre Gasly recorded AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso)’s best ever British Grand Prix result. Their previous best Silverstone finish was eighth, recorded by Daniel Ricciardo in 2013 and Carlos Sainz in 2016.
70th Anniversary: Pierre Gasly recorded his team’s second-best Silverstone qualifying result at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Gasly qualified seventh for AlphaTauri – the only time that has been beaten at Silverstone was at the 2013 British Grand Prix, when Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth for Toro Rosso.
Spain: At the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly out-qualified his team-mate on pace for the first time at the Catalunya track. He qualified ahead of Brendon Hartley when both drivers were at Toro Rosso in 2018, but Hartley did not set a lap time due to a crash in Free Practice 3. Just like in 2019, Gasly reached Q3 at the Spanish Grand Prix and scored points.
Belgium: Pierre Gasly’s eighth place in the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix made this the eighth Belgian Grand Prix in the last nine years in which the Red Bull junior team have scored points. Gasly recorded his best Spa finish, having finished ninth on his previous two appearances.
Italy: Pierre Gasly became a Grand Prix winner at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. The last time a French driver won in F1 was Olivier Panis, who took victory for Ligier at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, when Gasly was just three months old. Gasly’s win was the first for a French driver at Monza since Alain Prost won the 1989 Italian Grand Prix, as well as the first victory for Honda power at the circuit since Ayrton Senna won for McLaren in 1992. Gasly is the first French driver to win with an Italian team since Jean Alesi won for Ferrari at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix.
Tuscany: The winner of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix was a first lap retiree at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix. Strangely, of the last four new winners in Formula 1 – Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly – Gasly is the third to have retired from the race immediately after their first win. The last French winner, Olivier Panis, also retired from the race which followed his 1996 Monaco Grand Prix victory.
Russia: Pierre Gasly qualified in ninth place for the 2020 Russian Grand Prix, marking the first time that a driver for the Red Bull junior team has reached Q3 at the Russian Grand Prix since Max Verstappen did so in 2016. After recording his first Sochi Q3 appearance, Gasly went on to score his first points at the circuit on Sunday with a ninth place finish.
Eifel: Finishing the Eifel Grand Prix in sixth place, Pierre Gasly recorded the Red Bull junior team’s first ever points at the Nurburgring. The team’s previous best result here was eleventh, recorded by Scott Speed in 2006. If you include the team’s history as Minardi, Gasly also equalled their best result here. Marc Gene finished sixth for the team in the 1999 European Grand Prix.
Portugal: Pierre Gasly finished the Portuguese Grand Prix in fifth place, making this the ninth consecutive race in which AlphaTauri scored points. That extended the team’s best streak of points scoring races in their entire history. Gasly scored in all but one of those nine races.
Emilia Romagna: For only the second time in his career, Pierre Gasly qualified in the top four. Qualifying in fourth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Gasly equalled his best ever starting position, which he last recorded at the 2019 German Grand Prix. Sadly, Gasly was unable to convert the fourth place start into a strong points finish. He recorded his third retirement of the season. On all three occasions, Gasly has been the first retiree from the race. This was the first time that the driver who started fourth has retired since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
Turkey: At the Turkish Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly failed to reach Q3 for the second time in the last five races and failed to score for the third time in the last nine races.
Bahrain: Pierre Gasly qualified in eighth place for the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, out-qualifying his team-mate for a sixth consecutive event. He finished the race in sixth place, marking only the third time that his team scored at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Sakhir: Pierre Gasly qualified in ninth place and was out-qualified by Daniil Kvyat, ending a streak of six races in which Gasly has out-qualified his team-mate.
Abu Dhabi: Pierre Gasly qualified in the top ten at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time in his career. In the race, Gasly finished in eighth place for AlphaTauri, equalling the Red Bull junior team’s best ever result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The team last finished eighth here in the inaugural race in 2009, with Sebastien Buemi in eighth for Toro Rosso.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.