Pierre Gasly will return this weekend to the scene of his sensational maiden win in F1, and the AlphaTauri charger has high expectations for Monza on the back of his fourth-place finish in the Dutch Grand Prix.
Twelve months ago, Gasly snatched a shock win at the Temple of Speed, making the most of a series of events that had turned the race on its head.
Since that memorable, the Frenchman – who was confirmed for 2022 on Tuesday by AlphaTauri – has established himself as one of F1’s top midfield contenders, a status he validated again when he finished ‘best of the rest’ at Zandvoort.
Gasly’s current form coupled with his team’s own momentum means the combo heads to the Italian Grand Prix spurred on by a strong tail wind.
“I’m obviously happy after yesterday’s announcement, I feel very comfortable in the team, things are going well, and I think there’s definitely more to come for us.
“I can’t wait to get out on track in Monza, because I feel the mojo is good within the team and the car seems to be working well at all kinds of track, in the wet or the dry.
“To have finished fifth, sixth and fourth in the last three races is proof of that.
“Zandvoort was an amazing weekend with everything going in the right direction from Friday onwards.
“I’ll admit on Sunday, I was hoping something might happen with the leading three and I might get to taste some of that podium champagne again, after my third place in Baku earlier in the season, but it didn’t happen.”
Click Here: penrith panthers team jersey
Monza is a home race of sorts for AlphaTauri, but also for Gasly who lives within a stone’s throw of Monza Park.
“After coming fourth on Sunday, expectations are high now for Monza,” he admitted.
“After the French Grand Prix this is very much a second home race for me now, because I live just 15 kilometres from the track.
“The weekend will be something new for me, returning to a race circuit where I was the last person to win the Grand Prix.
“I’m very keen to be there and there should be plenty of tifosi, unlike last year, which felt very strange as the fans are so much part of the Monza atmosphere – that and the high speeds.
“It will be something quite special, reminding me of some really unforgettable moments from last season.
“I hope we can get another great result again this time, but we have to consider that we will be tackling the Qualifying Sprint format for the second time.
“After Silverstone, we have a better idea of what to expect, but with the usual slipstreaming battle in Qualifying and the race, it will add another dimension.”
Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter