Monza (Italy) (AFP)

Revenge after disgrace: praised for his qualities when he arrived in Formula 1 in 2017, the French Pierre Gasly, after a nightmarish stint at Red Bull, saw his return to AlphaTauri as a rebirth, punctuated Sunday by his first success at Monza ( Italy).

He said he had lived the "happiest day of (his) life" after the Brazilian Grand Prix, in November 2019, where he finished 2nd for his first podium in F1.

On Sunday, on the legendary Monza circuit, Gasly did even stronger at 24: he put an end to a 24-year shortage for France in the premier category of motorsport.

"It's amazing. I'm not sure I realize," he confessed.

With this resounding victory, he is taking revenge for his very complicated stint at Red Bull.

Promoted in early 2019 alongside Max Verstappen, he had not stood the comparison against the Dutch prodigy and had been demoted at the end of the season at Toro Rosso, replaced by the Thai Alexander Albon.

The decision followed several formal notices from Helmut Marko, head of Red Bull's pilots sector.

And she had all the disgrace, even if the French politely affirmed, from the first Grand Prix of his return to Toro Rosso, in August 2019, to have "digested" the decision of his management.

All the visionaries had been green so far for him, showered with praise on his arrival in Formula 1. "Very quickly", "hardworking", "pro", "surprisingly mature" ... In the general opinion, he had all the qualities to shine in F1.

- "Cult of permanent effort" -

Before that, he had already had to chew on his brakes, seeing several drivers of his generation, Carlos Sainz Jr, Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon, obtain a place on the grid before him.

It was then feared that, for political or financial reasons, Gasly would not pass the "cut", despite his title in 2016 in GP2, the antechamber of F1.

The blow had been hard to take, then confirmed his relatives, but the native of Rouen (Normandy) has always known how to bide his time.

He continued to play the third driver for Red Bull, where he joined the youth sector in 2013, and went into exile in Japan to race in Super Formula.

Patience and good results finally paid off.

In 2017, Red Bull's intransigence towards its drivers initially worked in its favor.

Daniil Kvyat disappointing at Toro Rosso, Gasly had succeeded him for the last Grands Prix of the season.

Ironically, he was then teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., second Sunday at Monza, and this season he is associated with AlphaTauri in ... Kvyat, three years after having stolen his place.

With this victory, the mistakes of early 2019 seem far away for Gasly.

The Normand, far ahead of his Russian teammate in the standings (43 pts against 4), once again asserts himself as one of the greatest potentials in F1.

And the words pronounced during his accession to Formula 1 by his mother Pascale, one of the first to see in him this "cult of permanent effort", resonate again loudly: "Being in F1 is good . But he wants to be world champion. "

© 2020 AFP