Max Verstappen makes history at Monza in an action-packed race
We’ve witnessed Formula 1 history be made by Max Verstappen at Monza. After a thrilling qualifying session everyone was at the edge of their seat. Pole-sitter Carlos Sainz got off to a great start at the Italian Grand Prix 2023. Sainz maintained the first position for the first 14 laps. This is the longest any non-Red Bull driver has led a race this season. Although Sainz’s defense was impressive, Verstappen eventually forced the Ferrari driver into a mistake in the first chicane on lap 15.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 3, 2023
From then on the Dutchman never looked back creating a comfortable gap with the other drivers. Teammate Sergio Perez and the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc scrambled to take the remaining two steps of the podium. After an action-packed finale and a magnificent defense from Sainz, it was Perez who finished in the runner-up spot. While the Ferraris gave the audience a breathtaking battle until the last corner.
Breaking the Monza curse
But what is the Monza curse? Well, the Monza Curse started back in 2019. The curse advised that whoever is the race winner of the previous year will DNF during the current Italian GP. Max Verstappen however? Not even a fictitious curse that has somewhat proven to be real in the past 3 years could stop Super Max Verstappen from winning at Monza.
Max Verstappen was willing to play the long game without taking any risks. In his favor was also the mighty strong Red Bull car that doesn’t seem to have a flaw. Red Bull hasn’t put a foot wrong with the strategy either. The pit stops have been incredibly fast. And with the knowledge of Ferrari’s issues with tyre management, everyone was waiting for a misstep by the Prancing Horse team. But as Sainz got off to a great start the Tifosi got to dream of a victory. At least for a little while.
Despite being second at the start, with Carlos Sainz who had a great weekend until then, the Dutchman did not sound concerned at all. And while the Spaniard, who was clearly in defense mode, maintained Verstappen at bay at the start, in lap 15 nothing could hold him from his target. After getting a better exit in Turn 1 he pulled alongside the chicane and got ahead. So while being under pressure to deliver another magnificent performance “Mad Max” maintained a clear head. In the end, this victory at Monza was a rather emotional one for both the team and the fans watching at home.
“I never would have believed that that was possible. But we had to work for it today and that made it definitely more fun. I am very proud it has happened and proud of what the team has done again today. The whole year has been pretty incredible so far. And of course, a one-two today as well, here in Monza, is special for us all.”
– Max on his 1o consecutive wins and feeling special with Red Bull 1-2 in Monza
From Miami to Monza
With this win, Max Verstappen has officially become the first driver in history to win 10 consecutive championship races in a row. Before him, Sebastian Vettel has held the record with 9 consecutive wins since 2013 unbeaten. Clearly, the Dutchman was the man for the job. In addition, Max Verstappen is the only driver in Formula 1 history to win at all the original tracks (Silverstone, Monza, Monaco, and Spa) within the same season. This is a landmark in the legacy that Max Verstappen has been creating since winning his first World Championship in 2021.
Red Bull has been truly unbeatable since the start of the season. And if it wasn’t for George Russell winning the Brazilian Grand Prix last year, Red Bull would have been on a winning streak since July 24th 2022, France Grand Prix. Since then there have been 25 Grand Pries with Red Bull winning 24 of them, 21 for Max, and 3 for Checo.
“Knowing that we are leaving Europe unbeaten is just insane! We had to do it the hard way. […] Then Carlos was defending like his life depended on it. Then Max bided his time, and made the overtake to pull away.”
– Christian Horner on the incredible race
What can Max Verstappen still accomplish? Could he break another record while the other drivers behind him are scrambling to get points? Well, there are still 8 races to go but it’s clear that the young Dutchman is currently writing history and no one seems to have what it takes to stop him.