Demoted by Red Bull last season, Lewis Hamilton reckons Pierre Gasly’s Italian Grand Prix is “gonna hurt” the team that dropped him.
As the chaos that was Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix played out, Gasly took the lead at the Monza circuit, up into P1 when Hamilton had to stop for his 10-second stop-go penalty.
The Mercedes driver had been leading comfortably only to incur a penalty when he pitted while the pit lane was closed as marshals recovered Kevin Magnussen’s car.
As such Hamilton dropped to the back of the pack, Gasly was elevated to P1 and the AlphaTauri driver took his chance.
He held off Carlos Sainz to claim his maiden grand prix win by 0.4s over the McLaren driver.
While Gasly won the grand prix, his Red Bull replacement, Alexander Albon, was down in 15th place after two incidents on the opening lap left him with a damaged car and a five-second penalty.
Hamilton says Gasly’s win is truly deserved especially after the way Red Bull treated him last season.
“Pierre is just a really nice guy,” the Briton told BBC Sport.
“I think he has a lot of talent and I don’t think he was necessarily treated fairly at Red Bull in the end when he got demoted.
“And it’s not easy for a driver when that happens, so I empathise with that.
“To then build the confidence up in a not-as-quick team and then come around with some really great performances he’s had this year already with that car and then to get a win, it is not easy.
“Really impressed. I think he has done a fantastic job. He deserves the success and hopefully that creates an opportunity for him moving forwards.
“Also, he beat the team that demoted him, so it’s gonna hurt for them.”
P1!! My first victory in F1!!🏆
I’m lost for words, still struggling to realise, its just amazing!!
Everything was perfect, just missed the tifosis down under the podium. @alphatauri we have done it!! Thanks everyone for all the messages & support!! Today is a day I’ll remember. pic.twitter.com/3eILYSMsIu
— PIERRE GASLY 🇫🇷 (@PierreGASLY) September 6, 2020
Hamilton’s comments seem a little strange given that 24 hours earlier Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko revealed that the Brit spoke to the team several times last season urging them to put Albon in the car.
The only way Albon would get a promotion would be if Gasly was demoted.
He told Sky Germany: “Hamilton called us several times last year to tell us to put Albon in the car.”