Race Weekend Central

Max Verstappen Wins 10 in a Row at Monza

For the first time in Formula 1 history, a driver has won 10 Grand Prix in a row.

Max Verstappen, the two-time defending champion on a march towards his third straight title, overcame a second-place qualifying effort to win in dominating fashion at the Monza Circuit.

Polesitter Carlos Sainz did all he could for the Ferrari tifosi in attendance at the Italian Grand Prix, leading the first 14 laps and driving a near perfect race.

But on lap 15, Sainz locked up entering turn 1 and the loss of momentum was enough for Verstappen to take advantage and the lead in turn 3. Verstappen never looked back.

“It was very tough,” Sainz said in the podium interview about having to hold Verstappen off early. “It could not get any tougher than it was today. Honestly, [I spent] the whole race pushing to keep the Red Bulls behind, and that made me use the rear tires a lot. At the end, I ended up paying the price[…] I did everything I could to defend all the cars that I could.”

Sergio Perez was also able to overcome the Ferraris to finish second, making a Red Bull 1-2 lockout. Sainz and teammate Charles Leclerc had a furious duel in the closing laps for the final podium step, with Sainz taking the step after a huge lock-up from Leclerc on the final lap. Leclerc would finish fourth.

George Russell finished fifth, a quiet day for the Englishman.

On lap 41, Lewis Hamilton and Oscar Piastri made contact fighting for eighth, with both having to run off track in turns 4 and 5, albeit still on pavement.

Piastri had to pit to replace his front wing and ended up finishing 12th. Hamilton was given a five-second penalty for avoidable contact, but was able to pass Alex Albon in seventh and Lando Norris in eighth then make enough distance between them to still finish sixth.

Fernando Alonso ended up ninth and Valtteri Bottas ended up scoring 10th with the last point on the day.

During the formation lap, Yuki Tsunoda lost power and stopped in the grass right before the final turn. This led to an aborted start and another formation lap, reducing the number of race laps by one.

Then, the AlphaTauri was stuck in gear and couldn’t get moved by the time the cars came back around. The start was completed suspended and teams had to go back out on grid to service the cars, as F1 cars can’t just sit around for minutes at a time idling.

After another formation lap, the lights finally went out 23 minutes after the first formation lap for the now 51-lap race. Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon were the only unclassified results on the day.

2023 F1 Italian Grand Prix Results

Just eight race weekends remain in the 2023 F1 season, including three sprint weekends. The point in which Verstappen can clinch the driver’s championship officially will be following Japan after a couple of races, in which he would need a 180 point lead; he is currently at a 145 point lead over Perez in second.

After an off-week, the next round of the 2023 Formula 1 season will be the Singapore Grand Prix. Coverage will begin at 8 a.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 17, on ESPN.

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.

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