Max Verstappen makes history in Monza with tenth win in a row: 'Enjoying'
Published on 03 September 2023 by Kees-Jan Koster
Max Verstappen won the Italian Grand Prix dominantly, his tenth victory in a row. Starting from second on the grid, the double world champion had to except Carlos Sainz, who started from pole, in front of him for the first part of the race. Max took the lead in lap fourteen after successfully overtaking Sainz. Verstappen won the race seven seconds ahead of teammate Sergio Perez. This meant that Max broke the record of most consecutive Grand Prix race wins. With Perez finishing in second position, it was the sixth one-two for the Oracle Red Bull Racing team this year. Carlos Sainz took P3 in front of the Ferrari fans, his first podium this year.
Asked about the record of ten wins in a row, Max says: “I never would have believed that was possible. It is always difficult to be that consistent. I am happy to win ten times in a row. Eventually it will stop, but now I am really enjoying it.”
After the start Verstappen was stuck behind the Ferrari of Sainz for fourteen laps, before overtaking him. The Dutchman says about the race: “It was a strong race. We had to work for it today, that made it a lot more fun. We had good pace, we were good on the tyres, but Ferrari had a lot of top speed. Our DRS was not as affective this weekend because we had to make the top wing smaller. It was so hard to get close and attack in turn one. I had to force Carlos into a mistake and try to be patient. It was still a very long race. Finally, he locked up and I had better traction when coming out of turn two. After overtaking Carlos, we could drive our own race and that went well.”
In the final phase of the race Max was asked over the radio to reduce speed, but this did not worry him: “We had to manage a little issue at the end. But we had a gap behind us, so I could easily back off.”
Whether Verstappen will extend his win-streak in Singapore is not something he wants to think about too much: “We will see in Singapore. That race can always be a bit chaotic, and it is a difficult race too, for now I am just happy with ten wins in a row.”
Because Max was narrowly defeated by the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in qualifying, Max had to start the 52-lap race on the high-speed circuit of Monza from P2. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen start on the hard compound tyres, while all the other drivers start on medium tyres. Yuki Tsunoda had to park his AlphaTauri next to the track because of technical issues during the formation lap. As the AlphaTauri is stuck in gear, the car cannot be moved behind the barriers. After a second formation lap, the decision is made to delay the start.
After a delay of fifteen minutes the race is started. Max has a good start from second on the grid. But despite being in the slipstream of polesitter Sainz, he cannot overtake the Spaniard when entering turn one. Leclerc slots in behind the two in P3, the rest of the field follows, and everyone comes through the first lap unscathed.
Max can keep up well with Sainz in the opening phase of the race and makes a first overtake attempt on Sainz in lap six, again in turn one. The Ferrari driver counters the attack and stays in the lead. Verstappen continues being sandwiched between the two Ferraris of Sainz in front of him and Leclerc behind. Despite being in DRS range Verstappen cannot get close enough for another attack. But in lap fourteen Sainz locks up in turn one and Verstappen can overtake him in turn four, taking the lead of the race. Behind the three leaders, George Russell and Sergio Perez are fighting for P4. After a failed attempt in lap fourteen, manages Perez to overtake Russell in lap sixteen.
Max is already five seconds ahead of Sainz when he comes in for his first stop in lap 20. The Spaniard comes out in nineth position on a set of hard tyres. One lap later Verstappen comes into the pits, and he also changes his medium tyres for the hard compound. Max comes back out on track in P6, but as the drivers in front of him make their own pitstops, it does not take long for him to be in P2. Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton in lap 25 on the start-finish straight. Hamilton still has to make his pitstop. Behind him are Sainz, Leclerc and Perez.
A nice fight unfolds between Perez and Leclerc, the Mexican wins and moves up to third position. Lewis Hamilton and Oscar Piastri collide in turn eight. Piastri has a damaged front wing and must come into he pits for a new one, Hamilton gets a five second time penalty for causing a collision. Meanwhile Perez is behind Sainz. It takes a couple of laps, but Perez overtakes Sainz for P2. Both Ferraris go on fighting eachother. Despite multiple attemps, Leclerc cannot overtake his teammate.
In the lead, Max is asked by the team to reduce speed, but that does not endanger the victory. With seven seconds ahead of his teammate wins Max his tenth Grand Prix in a row, a record for Formula 1. Perez finishes second, making the party for Red Bull complete. Carlos Sainz finishes in P3, his first podium this season, just ahead of his teammate Leclerc. Mercedes drivers Russell and Hamilton finish in P5 and P6, with Alexander Albon finishing seventh in his Williams. Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas complete the top ten.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||50||1:12:13.618||25|
|2||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||50||+7.686s||18|
|7||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||50||+45.198s||6|
|8||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||50||+45.549s||4|
|9||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||50||+46.424s||2|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||49||+65.950s||1|
|11||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||49||+71.398s||0|
|12||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||49||+72.240s||0|
|13||Liam Lawson||LAW||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||49||+73.268s||0|
|14||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||49||+81.658s||0|
|15||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||49||+81.913s||0|
|16||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||49||+82.236s||0|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||49||+1 lap||0|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||49||+1 lap||0|
|0||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||39||DNF||0|
|0||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||0||DNF||0|