Max Verstappen scored his tenth consecutive win of the 2023 Formula One season as he comfortably won the 2023 Italian Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Pérez, finished second to give Red Bull another 1-2, with pole-sitter Carlos Sainz just about hanging on for the final podium place.
With the Italian GP win, Verstappen has broken former Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine wins in a row, which the German achieved in 2013. With the dominance Verstappen is showing this season, the streak might go on for a further few races.
Yuki Tsunoda’s race was over even before it began, as his AlphaTauri broke down in the formation. After a 20-minute delay, pole-sitter Carlos Sainz got the race underway, hanging on to keep Max Verstappen behind him.
While Sainz was hanging on for the lead by the skin of his teeth, George Russell in P4 was facing a similar issue as the other Red Bull of Sergio Pérez was attacking him.
Pierre Gasly was the first to pit on Lap 12 as he switched to the hard compound and re-joined in P19.
Pérez finally got Russell on Lap 14, but the Mexican got the move down off the track, which led to him having to give back the place.
Up ahead, Verstappen took the lead of race at Turn 5 on Lap 15 as Sainz locked up at Turn 1, giving the advantage to the Dutchman. The following lap, Pérez went down the inside of Russell on the main straight to take P4. Inside a lap’s time, Verstappen up ahead was already over a second clear of Sainz.
Verstappen came in for his stop on Lap 21, which saw Pérez take the lead of the race as Ferrari called in Charles Leclerc. While Verstappen re-joined in P6, Sainz just about managed to pip Leclerc out of the pit. Perez pitted the following lap, re-joining in P7, while Oscar Piastri led the race from his teammate, Lando Norris.
Verstappen re-took the lead of the race on Lap 24 with Lewis Hamilton in P2, though the veteran Brit’s was the only car in the top six that hadn’t pitted at the time. Pérez, meanwhile, was chasing Leclerc for P3 but almost ran into the back of his Ferrari on Turn 4, neither driver willing to give even an inch to the other. Pérez ultimately got the move done on Lap 32 on the main straight.
By Lap 30, it was Verstappen leading from Sainz by a gap of almost six seconds, with Leclerc behind his teammate. While Verstappen maintained a comfortable lead up front, it was Alex Albon, Norris and Piastri fighting it out for P6.
By Lap 40, Hamilton had joined the McLaren and Williams train, but Hamilton, on fresher tyres, got too ambitious and crashed into Piastri, who suffered front-wing damage that needed him to box. He dropped down to P14, while the chief wrecker Hamilton carried on and was eventually given a five-second time penalty.
Unlike Hamilton, Pérez got a clean move done on Sainz for P2 as he went past him heading into the first chicane on Lap 46. Things got worse for Sainz as Leclerc got past him for the final podium place, but Leclerc locking up saw Sainz hold on to the third place.
While there was plenty of action in the podium places, Hamilton was desperately trying to make up places after getting the penalty. Verstappen breezed to his tenth consecutive win of the season, leading Pérez to their sixth 1-2 of the season, with pole-sitter Sainz holding on to P3 by the skin of the teeth as a late lock-up by Leclerc helped him secure his position. Leclerc finished P4, ahead of Russell, Hamilton, Albon, Norris, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas.
Racing moves to Asia next in two weeks’ time for the Singapore Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen’s third World Title inching ever closer.