ITALIAN GP – Max Verstappen takes a record-breaking tenth consecutive win six seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz

Testing & Race Reports

Max Verstappen has taken a record-breaking tenth consecutive win at the Italian Grand Prix, setting a new record for number of wins in a row. The Dutchman spent most of the opening phases of the race hounding off Carlos Sainz but as the pressure built on the Ferrari driver mistake followed.

Verstappen’s victory is his tenth in a row, which gives him the outright record of consecutive F1 wins ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari. It allow him to extend his lead teammate Sergio Perez to a hundred and forty-five points, meaning he can wrap the title as soon as Suzuka at the end of the month.

As the two former teammates battled it out in the first half of the race, Sainz locked up into the dello Roggia chicane, which allowed Verstappen to pass. Then while the Dutchman headed off into the autumn sunshine, Sainz came under pressure from Verstappen’s teammate Perez. It became clear from the battle with Verstappen that Ferrari didn’t have the pace to hold off Red Bull, with Perez also finding a way past.

Sainz gave in allowing Perez to pass with nine laps to go, but that allowed his teammate Charles Leclerc to close up and eventually finish the race a tenth ahead of the Monacan. It was frantic at times as Sainz hung on with worn tyres, and eventually the Spaniard pleaded to his team to let him “bring it home”. Leclerc was told: “Race until the end, no risk.”

Perez added, “I think it [P2] was the maximum we could achieve today. We were lacking some top speed today. It was hard to overtake, we had some great exits but it was not enough. To get through Charles and Carlos is pretty insane because I had to use my tyres.”

Sainz said, “Very tough, very tough it cannot get any tougher to what it was today, honestly The whole race pushing very very hard to keep the Red Bulls behind and that obviously made me use the rear tyre a lot trying to keep up with them and trying to keep them behind, but in the end I am paying a bit of price.”

In the closing laps of the race they traded position with the battle between the two Ferrari’s going down to the last lap, Leclerc nearly hitting Sainz as he locked up into the first chicane.

George Russell was fifth twenty seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time champion using an alternative tyre strategy to finish in sixth despite a late collision with Oscar Piastri’s McLaren.

Hamilton was given a five-second penalty for damaging the front wing as he tried to out brake and overtake the Australian at the della Roggia chicane, the both went off but managed to continue. While Russell also received a five-second penalty for leaving the track when passing Esteban Ocon after leaving the pits.

The Englishman finished sixth while Piastri dropped down and finished the race twelfth as he also received a penalty. At one stage Hamilton looked to be aggressive, he started on the hard tyres and ran to around half distance, but a second stint on the mediums was always going to be ambitious and before his collision with Norris.

Hamilton was one of three drivers to start on the hard tyres, while everyone else began the Grand Prix on the hards. That allowed him to run until nearly half distance and he the advantage on mediums allowed him to run the soft in the second half, aggressive as it allowed him to make up places with less tyre management.

Piastri had clipped his teammate Lando Norris’s rear, after the Englishman under cut him, but the incident with Hamilton was more costly dropping him down the order.  Alex Albon was seventh, giving Williams their best result of the season, he couldn’t close to within five seconds to take the place away from Hamilton.

Norris eventually finished the race in eighth, eight tenths ahead of Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas rounding out the top ten. Bottas had been involved in a collision while fighting for tenth with Logan Sargeant. The Williams driver also received a five second penalty for causing a collision.

Piastri eventually finished the race twelfth, three and a half seconds behind Liam Lawson and ahead of Sargeant. Lawson’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda failed to start, the Alpha Tauri driver  caused the first start to be aborted, after  an engine  failure caused his car to stop at the side of the track.  That led to the start being delayed by twenty minutes.

Guanyu Zhou was fourteenth ahead of Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll. Both Haas’s were the final classified finishers, both a lap down with Nico Hulkenberg ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen.



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