Dramatic Italian GP: Verstappen Clinches Win Record
Red Bull makes history as Max Verstappen takes the all-time record for most consecutive race wins.
Monza is an iconic track on the F1 calendar. With so much character and heritage, the Italian GP rarely fails to impress. This year was no exception, as Ferrari came determined to show the home crowd just what they were capable of and put up a heck of a fight against Verstappen and Perez.
The drama began on the formation lap as Yuki Tsunoda suffered a mechanical issue before the race had even begun. As the Alpha Tauri was removed from the track, the drivers lined up. The Ferraris pounced from the onset, forcing Max into second place between the two red stallions.
To most people's surprise, Verstappen’s first attempts at taking Carlos Sainz only came on the 6th lap, with clear aggression, determined to break the win record. Yet he failed to get in front of the Ferrari.
Corner one seemed to be the point of issue for the drivers. Max continued with another attempt at an overtake on Carlos as lap 14 commenced, but the Spanish driver stuck his elbows out and held off the charge for another lap. Perez also attempted the overtake and overshot the braking zone, this time trying to take George Russell around the outside of turn one.
By lap 15, the audience's frustration became apparent. Max gained the necessary momentum to attack by forcing Carlos Sainz's Ferrari to lock up into the first corner thanks to constant pressure. The Ferrari and Red Bull entered the third corner side-by-side, with both drivers going flat out. The straight showed just how slippery the Ferraris were, as Carlos pulled half a car length ahead of the Red Bull but couldn't find the brakes to shave off speed quite as late as Max, handing the record chaser first place.
Meanwhile, the Red Bull of Perez was still tormenting the Mercedes of Russell as he finally seized 4th place from the British driver.
As the first set of pit stops got underway, the McLaren drivers nearly saw the end of their race as contact in the first corner added to the excitement of the event.
Perez, now with a point to prove, chased down the Ferrari duo, now sitting in second and third. Taking Leclerk down the main straight, with DRS, he locked the position in through the first chicane.
In the later stages of the GP, Lewis Hamilton and Oscar Piastri brawled for position. As the duo approached turn 4, though, contact between the drivers resulted in a damaged front wing for the young Aussie. The remaining ten laps saw a heated duel between Checo and Carlos Sainz as they fought for second over the remaining three laps. Ultimately, Checo kept his speed up exiting the final corner, giving his Red Bull the legs, paired with DRS, to take the Ferrari heading into the first corner for a Red Bull one-two.
Surprisingly, the Ferrari battle was not over as the two drivers turned on each other and diced for the podium position in the closing laps. A battle that continued until the final lap, when Leclerc locked up and conceded the final step on the podium to his teammate.
The top ten results are as follows:
- Max Verstappen
- Sergio Perez
- Carlos Sainz
- Charles Leclerc
- George Russell
- Lewis Hamilton
- Alex Albon
- Lando Norris
- Fernando Alonso
- Valtteri Bottas
With numerous close calls and thrilling racing, the weekend was fantastic as a whole. One accomplishment, though, stood out above the rest of the excitement: Max Verstappen's record-breaking tenth consecutive win, an impressive record that will undoubtedly take a while to beat. The only question now is, can he continue his dominating streak?