Max Verstappen breaks another F1 record, wins tenth race in a row at Italian Grand Prix

Logan Ploder
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Sunday, September 3, 2023

Photo Credit: The Guardian

Back in 2013 when Sebastian Vettel won his F1 record ninth race in a row, nobody thought that mark would ever be reached again.

In the ten years since, drivers have come close to it. Nico Rosberg won seven in a row for Mercedes in 2015 and 2016, while Lewis Hamilton won six in succession a few times for the same team.

With as close as they came before failing to match, it was further affirmation that Vettel's record would forever be immortal.

Or so it was thought.

From the drop of the green flag in 2023, it was clear that Max Verstappen and Red Bull would be tough to beat. Slowly but surely, he, along with the same Red Bull team that set the record with Vettel, slowly chipped away.

Following his record-tying victory at his home Dutch Grand Prix last weekend, it felt inevitable to everyone, including Vettel himself that the record would fall the following week at Monza. Clearly, everybody's gut feelings were rightly felt.

Starting from second on the grid, Verstappen fought tooth and nail with the pole-sitting Ferrari of Carlos Sainz for the opening stages of the race, before overtaking him into the second chicane on Lap 15 after a brilliant scrap. Verstappen scooted away soon after to win the Italian Grand Prix by over ten seconds, and set a new Formula 1 record.

Verstappen's win was his 12th of the season, and 13th in his last 15 races dating back to Abu Dhabi last season. With that, Red Bull Racing also set a new record for the most consecutive wins by a constructor with 15, after Sergio Perez's two wins in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan earlier this year. They've also won 24 of the last 25.

Perez finished second behind Verstappen in Italy. The Mexican started the race in fifth place, and fought hard with the Mercedes of George Russell, and both Ferraris of Sainz and Charles Leclerc for the entire race, before finally advancing into P2 in the last stages.

Sainz rounded out the podium in third, having led the opening 15 laps from pole, and thrillingly defending against the two Red Bulls, and his teammate the whole race. Ferrari's low-drag setup seemingly kept Ferrari in the game even with their high tire wear, given how hard they were to overtake with the extra speed.

Leclerc finished closely behind to make it a 3-4 for Ferrari at home, followed by the two Mercedes of Russell and Lewis Hamilton. The top six finished in a "Noah's Ark" fashion, with two Red Bulls being followed by two Ferraris and two Mercedes in that order.

Alex Albon finished a brilliant P7 for Williams, holding off the McLarens of Lando Norris and, before his clash with Hamilton in the second chicane, Oscar Piastri for the whole race.

Norris finished in eighth, followed by the draggy Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso in P9, and impressively, Valtteri Bottas in tenth for the final points position.