Verstappen makes F1 history with Italian GP win

0 2

Red Bull's Max Verstappen overtook Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to take a record tenth consecutive F1 win in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Having taken a surprise pole position on Saturday to the delight of the fanatical Italian fans, Sainz held off Verstappen at the start to settle into the lead.

Initially, the Dutchman struggled to get close enough to Sainz to attempt an overtake, with the Ferrari proving to have excellent top-end speed, and the cars' Monza-specific low downforce setup partially neutralizing the effect of the DRS overtaking aid.

However, Verstappen remained close behind Sainz, and after a few attempts, finally took the lead at the Roggia chicane on Lap 15, after the Spaniard locked a wheel and compromised his exit from the preceding Rettifilo chicane.

Red Bull proved quicker than Ferrari in race trim, and once in front, Verstappen's victory was never in doubt, with the Dutchman pulling a four-second advantage over Sainz by Lap 19, and ultimately cruising to his landmark win.

"I never would have believed that was possible but we had to work for it today and that made it definitely a lot more fun," said Verstappen afterwards.

"We had good pace, I think we were good on the tyres but [Ferrari] had a lot of top speed, it was so hard to get close and get a move on into Turn One so I had to force him into a mistake, and luckily it came at some point where he locked up and I had better traction out of Turn Two."

"I just tried to stay patient, it was still a very long race. I could see that [Sainz] was struggling a lot on the rear tyres, so I just had to pick my moment."

Behind Verstappen, a titanic battle ensued between the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez and the two Ferraris. Having qualified only fifth, Perez had spent the first 16 laps bottled up behind George Russell's Mercedes, but upon finally overtaking the Briton, he soon began to close on Sainz in second and Charles Leclerc in third.

The Mexican looked as if he had made it past Leclerc on Lap 30, but was obliged to give the position back after cutting the Rettifilo to make his move. Perez would not be denied on the following tour, however, and after dispatching Leclerc he quickly closed on Sainz, who was starting to struggle with his tyres.

Once again, Perez had to give the place back after taking to the escape road to make his first move on the Ferrari, but the Mexican made the pass stick on Lap 46 to move into a second place that he would keep to the flag.

The final laps saw a close fight between the two Ferraris, with Leclerc looking the faster but finding it hard to overhaul Sainz's stout defence.

The two duelled until the final lap, when an enormous lock-up from Leclerc saw him narrowly avoid collecting Sainz at the Rettifilo, with the Spaniard ultimately taking the final podium place and Leclerc settling for fourth.

Behind Leclerc, Russell took fifth ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who was slapped with a five-second time penalty after a coming together with McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

Alex Albon continued his and Williams' good form with an excellent seventh place, ahead of Lando Norris in his McLaren.

Fernando Alonso took ninth on a low-key day for Aston Martin, with Valtteri Bottas taking a rare point for Alfa Romeo to round out the top ten.

Verstappen's 12th victory of 2023 sees him inch ever closer to his third World Championship title, and the Dutchman now has 364 points. Perez remains second on 219, with Alonso third on 170.

Verstappen's win was Red Bull's 15th in a row — also an F1 record. The drinks-backed squad now have 583 points, ahead of Mercedes on 273 and Ferrari moving up to third on 228.

The 15th round of the 2023 F1 World Championship is the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 17th.

  •  Max Verstappen
  •  F1 history
  •  Italian GP


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.