MONZA, Italy – Runaway Formula One leader Max Verstappen secured a record 10th consecutive victory by winning the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, a Red Bull one-two at Ferrari’s home track.
“That’s a nice statistic,” Verstappen said on team radio immediately after the win.
Another flawless performance from the two-time defending champion saw Verstappen beat his teammate Sergio Perez by 6.802 seconds. Carlos Sainz Jr finished third, 11.082 seconds behind Verstappen and just ahead of Charles Leclerc as the two Ferrari drivers battled for the final spot on Monza’s iconic podium.
“I never thought it was possible, but we had to work on it today and it was definitely a lot more fun,” said Verstappen.
Verstappen had started second behind Sainz, but eventually got past him at the start of lap 15 and from then on – just like the rest of the season – no one could keep up with Red Bull’s pace.
The record was all but a foregone conclusion when Verstappen began to pull away and quickly built a lead of more than five seconds five laps later.
“Very hard, very hard. It can’t get any harder than today,” said Sainz. “To keep up with the Red Bulls, I paid the price with the rear tires, but I did everything I could to defend myself.”
The win also saw Verstappen extend his huge lead in the championship to 145 points in an overwhelmingly dominant season for the 25-year-old Dutchman.
Verstappen has won 12 of the 14 races for unbeaten Red Bull and equaled Sebastian Vettel’s F1 record of nine consecutive wins at the Dutch GP last weekend. Perez has the other two wins.
For Verstappen it was the second victory in a row at Monza. Before last year he had never finished above fifth place in the Italian GP.
However, his record attempt got off to a slightly delayed start as Yuki Tsunoda crashed on the formation lap with a suspected engine failure. The start had to be canceled and since the drivers actually completed three introductory laps, the race was shortened by two laps.
Ferrari was hoping for its first victory at the Temple of Speed since 2019 and Sainz, who turned 29 on Friday, got off to a great start by holding off Verstappen at the first corner – much to the delight of thousands of passionate Red fans. dressed tifosi.
Sainz managed to fend off several attempts from Verstappen to get past in a tense battle between the two. That didn’t last long, however, as Sainz locked the brakes at the first chicane on lap 15, allowing Verstappen to get past him on the exit and pull away.
Sainz had to fight off Perez for second place, but lost that battle too with four laps to go and had to fight hard again to keep Leclerc behind him for the final podium place.
George Russell finished fifth ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who retained his place despite a five-second penalty for colliding with Oscar Piastri.
Alex Albon finished seventh, Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top 10.
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https://torontosun.com/sports/auto-racing/max-verstappen-wins-italian-gp-for-record-10th-straight-f1-victory Max Verstappen wins the Italian GP, setting a record tenth consecutive F1 victory