Ten Wins in a Row for Verstappen, Sets New Record
Formula 1 traveled to the infamous Autodromo Nazionale di Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. The 101-year-old circuit, the Temple of Speed, was the perfect place for Red Bull and their Champion Verstappen to flex their muscles once again. Ferrari, who has had an abysmal season, had to step up their game for the home crowd or face even more brutal scrutiny, which they have received en masse. In the end, Max Verstappen broke the record held by Sebastien Vettel by winning his 10th straight race of the season.
Red Bull also claimed their 15th straight victory, stretching their record-setting pace even further. Red Bull has not been defeated in a race, including sprint races, since April 30th. We are in a Red Bull Dynasty led by the infallible Verstappen, making history for every race now. Let’s look at the Italian Grand Prix and how the weekend unfolded in favor of Red Bull.
Italian Grand Prix Qualifying
Monza’s circuit is all about top speed, which heavily favors Red Bull, and most expected the team and Verstappen to claim his 9th pole position of the season, but Ferrari had other plans. Ferrari, led by Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc, managed to show off Ferrari’s improvements throughout the practice sessions and during the early stages of qualifying. After Q1, Ferrari was under investigation for not respecting the maximum lap time, threatening the possibility of a strong weekend. Sainz, in Q3, gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about as he narrowly beat out Verstappen for Pole Position by .013th of a second.
Leclerc also managed to grab P3, making it Ferrari’s best qualifying session of the year. Luckily, the team would not be penalized for their suspected transgressions during Q1. An exciting battle for at least the start of the race was set up, but most wondered if Ferrari could stop Verstappen on race day.
The Azzurro sky of Italy was evident, with the sun shining bright on the Tifosi, eagerly waiting for the start of the race, praying, and hoping that maybe Ferrari could win the day. During the formation lap, Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda had plenty to swear about after his engine blew midway, forcing him out of the race before he even began it. The race was delayed clearing out his stalled Alpha Tauri, and another formation lap was needed, reducing the number of laps for the race by one.
Eventually, the race was allowed to restart, and it began with a roar from the crowd as Sainz managed to hold Verstappen at bay, heading into the first chicane of the race. No incidents or yellow flags were needed as the rest of the field battled for position cleanly. Leclerc had to fend off Mercedes George Russell while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez had his sights on Russel.
Sainz held on to 1st place bravely holding off Verstappen, but despite his heroic efforts, Verstappen could not be held back, and like a raging bull on Lap 15, he barged his way into 1st place and never looked back. The first and only round of pit spots saw no changes in the front of the grid, and Verstappen kept his lead without struggles.
On Lap 30, Perez had already surpassed Russell and now set his sights on Leclerc for third place, giving the crowd an intense battle between the two. Eventually, Perez got the job done and aimed for Sainz in second place. Sainz and Perez had a fierce competition, with Sainz holding on for dear life, frustrating his rival. Ferrari still had to concede to the mightier Red Bull, which led to Perez taking 2nd place and never looking back.
On the other hand, Sainz had to look behind him because he had his teammate in his mirrors, hungry for the last podium spot. They fought valiantly, exchanging positions and nearly colliding, which caused Ferrari and the Tifosi in the stands to hold their breaths collectively. Luckily for the Scuderia, both drivers were unscathed, and Sainz eventually crossed the finish line in 3rd. Verstappen claimed his tenth win of the year, which is clearly one of the most incredible seasons in Formula 1 history.
A performance worth noting once again came from Alexander Albon and his Williams, who again sat in the points in 7th place, adding even more value to Albon’s upcoming free agency. If the young driver can produce with mediocre care, what could he do with a stronger team? The Italian Grand Prix was an entertaining race and continues to prove why it has been a staple of the F1 schedule since the series inception in the 50s’.
The Next race is in two across the Pacific at the Singapore Grand Prix at the ever-challenging Marina Bay Street Circuit, where anything could happen. A streak may end or not.
|1||MAX VERSTAPPEN||NETHERLANDS||RED BULL|
|2||SERGIO PEREZ||MEXICO||RED BULL|
|3||CARLOS SAINZ JR||SPAIN||FERRARI|
|9||FERNANDO ALONSO||SPAIN||ASTON MARTIN|
|10||VALTERRI BOTTAS||FINLAND||ALFA ROMEO|
|11||LIAM LAWSON||NEW ZEALAND||ALPHA TAURI|
|13||LOGAN SARGEANT||UNITED STATES||WILLIAMS|
|14||ZHOU GUANYU||CHINA||ALFA ROMEO|
|16||LANCE STROLL||CANADA||ASTON MARTIN|
|RETIRED||ESTEBAN OCON-LAP 9||FRANCE||ALPINE|
|RETIRED||YUKI TSUNODA||JAPAN||ALPHA TAURI|