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MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 03, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Italian Grand Prix: Perfect Verstappen ten from ten

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 03, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

For 15 laps the Ferrari fairytale of winning the 74th running of the Italian Grand Prix was kept alive, but it was clear that Max Verstappen had his own ending in mind as he powered to a historic, record-breaking tenth Formula 1 victory in a row.

Ferrari gave their Tifosi a great show, with Carlos Sainz claiming pole for them on Saturday and then keeping their hopes high early on in the race.

But Verstappen and Red Bull were again faultless at Monza today. The soon-to-be three-time F1 World Champion biding his time behind a fired-up Sainz. He might’ve had a stab earlier, but Verstappen is not a man in a rush these days.

He had a shot or two but waited patiently for the Ferrari to start losing its grip before he blitzed by and waved goodbye to grab that famous 10-From-10, ten out of ten, his 47th F1 victory.

Also his 12th of the season, as Red Bull remains unbeaten this season, Perez’s second place even sweeter for the most dominant team in F1 history.

Apart from a superb victory for Verstappen, Perez’s recovery was the cherry on the cake of a most famous day for Red Bull. One which will be remembered as the day Verstappen hit a perfect ten.

Verstappen: I never would have believed it was possible

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-23 and Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 battle for track position during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 03, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202309030248 // Usage for editorial use only //

After the 51-lap race, shortened after Yuki Tsunda’s AlphaTauri failed on the warm-up lap, the Dutch phenomenon said in the heaving Monza parc ferme: “I never would have believed it was possible but we had to work for it today and that made it a lot more fun.

“We had good pace but they had a lot of top speed so it was hard to get close and get the move into Turn One so I had to force him into a mistake. Luckily it came at some point where he locked up. I tried to stay patient then just had to pick my moment,” revealed Verstappen.

Red Bull teammate Perez gave his side of the story: “It was the maximum we could have achieved today, it was so difficult to overtake, a lot harder than we really thought. It was really insane because I had to use a lot of my tyres.

“In the end, we managed to get both of them. I think we’ve done a lot of progress. On the setup side I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in the car. So I do expect that we will see the best form in the next races,” said Perez, ahead of his eighth podium celebration of the season.

Ferrari! The home team and their Tifosi were thrilled with Carlos Sainz’s pole position on Saturday, but in the end, Red Bull firepower was too much for the home team.

Sainz: We had fun out there

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But boy did the two Charlies entertain or what? Charles Leclerc attacked his teammate relentlessly but had to settle for fourth. A great contest which Ferrari allowed. Proud losers.

Sainz summed up his first podium of the 2023 F1 season, perhaps his sweetest of the 16 in his F1 career so far: “It was tough. It does not get tougher than it was out there today. Honestly, I spent the whole race pushing trying to keep the Red Bulls behind.

“In the end, I paid a bit of a price with the rear tyres. It has always ben a pleasure to race Charles when I have had the chance. We had fun out there,” insisted Sainz.

Behind him, Leclerc gave it all he had but there was no way past. Nevertheless, a strong result for Ferrari, clearly best of the rest this weekend at Monza, but still no match for RBR with Perez five seconds ahead and Verstappen half a dozen seconds further in front.

Mercedes duo George Russell had a solid race to P4, despite a penalty for a punt on Perez with Lewis Hamilton turning P8 on the grid to P6 by the time the race had run. The Briton taking a penalty for a punt on Oscar Piastri.

The seven-time F1 World Champion opting to go on hard tyres from the start, strayed out longest and then reaped the rweard on the softer tyres in the second half of the race. A good recovery, but Merc are now firmly P3 in the pecking order.

How the others fared at the Italian Grand Prix

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-23 and Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 lead the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 03, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Alex Albon had a sensational weekend at Monza, a main talking point in the paddock for putting the Williams places it shouldn’t be. Enduring a fight with just about everyone in the mid-pack as he went on Hards for Pirelli hards for his first stint.

Extremely quick on the many Monza straights, Albon did an impeccable job of finishing seventh. His defence from Lando Norris’ relentless attacks late in the race was box office stuff.

Lando Norris finished eighth after a race spent chasing teammate Piastri who ourqualified him on Saturday. The rookie kept Norris at bay until Hamilton and Oscar collided, dropping the Aussie out of sure points and down to 12th. A broken wing change cost him time and points.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in P9 and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas in P10 were relatively anonymous in the race. The Spaniard continued his run of non-stop points finishes this year, while Bottas was brave to go on Hards first, the one point his reward for it.

In the end, the 2023 Italian Grand Prix delivered one fairytale in that Verstappen has now gone an unprecedented 10 races unbeaten and Re Bull have yet to lose a race this year, while Ferrari gave everyone a good show, for a real feel-good result at the capital of Tifosi-land. It was a good show for the sport.

Horner: This victory is down to everybody in the Red Bull team

Horner: This victory is down to everybody in the Red Bull team

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner gave his take on a famous Grand Prix victory for his team today at the Temple of Speed: “We had to do it the hard way.

“The Ferraris were quick. Carlos was defending like his life depended on it so first Max had to get that pass done then we were able to pull out a gap.

“It gives Max ten victories in a row which is an incredible moment. It is a huge effort from every single department. F1 is the biggest team sport in the world and you need every single member of that team doing their job.

“This victory is down to everybody in the Red Bull team who have done an incredible job. For us to win here is massive,” concluded Horner.

2023 Italian Grand Prix Result

2023 Italian Grand Prix Result

How the 2023 Italian Grand Prix unfolded

2023 Italian GP Grid

Drama before the grid had assembled as Yuki Tusonda parked his smoking AlphaTauri reporting an “engine failure” forcing the start to be aborted twice! The race reduced to 52 laps from 53 as marshals removed the stricken car.

Uncertainty ensued as Race Control dithered, while the AlphaTauri was loaded onto a flatbed truck, before allowing F1 crews onto the grid. This despite some confused mechanics crossing the wall before they all surged on without much direction from the Stewards. A shouting match between team personnel and marshals ensued amid a melee at the foot of the pit lane. All very amateurish.

The second start was 20 minutes after they first rolled off the line, with Hamilton, Bottas and Magnussen the only ones with Pirelli white band Hard tyres, the rest on yellow Mediums.

Clean start for all with Sainz flying off the line with Verstappen tucked behind him after a tardy first phase before the second phase kicked in and he fended off a feisty Leclerc.

No change in the top five, behind them Piastri was up to sixth, getting by Albon before the Williams pounced to take it back. Norris also got by Hamilton and Hulkenberg was up three places into the top ten.

By lap five less than a second separated the top three. Sainz defending with all he had. Verstappen bobbing and weaving in the Ferrari mirrors. Behind them, Perez was stalking Russell for P4. Hamilton shading eight placed Norris. Alonso is back in P10.

Lap 10 top 10: SAI-VER-LEC-RUS-PER-ALB-PIA-NOR-HAM-ALO. The only change from the way they started was Norris swapping places with Hamilton.

Verstappen watching Sainz on the edge, with Leclerc in the front row seats, the trio within a second. Russell was two seconds adrift, fending off a constant attacking Perez. Albon was fur seconds shy of that battle, had Piastri and Norris nose to tail in his wake, with Hamilton seeking revenge. Alonso 3.7s off the trio ahead.

Notably Lawson, in his first full GP weekend was delivering all required of him edging towards the top ten. Impressive.

On lap 14 Perez lunged at Russell, the pair short-cutting Turn 1. but to no avail, the Mercedes remained ahead. Ten laps later Stewards deemed Russell guilty, handing him a five-second penalty.

At the front, on Lap 15 Verstappen took the the lead, a move that began into Turn 1, then blitzed past on the inside into the first Chicane. Riveting stuff. The RBR then started pulling away at almost one second per lap. Ferrari was defeated at that point.

A lap later into Turn 1 Perez got past Russell into fourth. The race was coming to the World Champs.

Leclerc now on Sainz’s bumper, with the #1 RBR disappearing into the distance setting fastest laps, now unleashed. Trailing the Ferrari pair by two seconds was Perez was on a charge.

Of those flirting in the top ten Albon pitted as did Hulkenberg.

Lap 20 Top 10: VER-SAI-LEC-PER-RUS-PIA-NOR-HAM-ALO-BOT. First of the big guns to blink, Sainz and Russell get the call to pit. Verstappen led Leclerc by six seconds, the Red Bull ace stopping as did Leclerc with Perez going a lap longer.

Sainz and Leclerc go wheel to wheel as the pair battle for position and second place once pit stops were factored in. Perez pitted on lap 22 emerging just behind the feuding Red cars.

On the timing screens, Piastri led Norris before the latter stopped, with Hamilton up to second with the harder tyres 1.1s behind the rookie in the McLaren.

Hamilton led when Piastri pitted, the Mercedes on the Hards with Verstappen attacking while chased by the two Ferraris. Behind them, Norris pounced on teammate Piastri to steal the position.

On lap 25, Verstappen was through into the lead again, no contest as the Red Bull cruised past the #44 Mercedes which was mugged by Sainz, Leclerc and Perez on Lap 27 before Hamilton pitted. He emerged in tenth on Mediums, with a lot of work to do betting by Alonso a lap later.

Everyone had stopped at this point with Verstappen popping the fastest laps on the fresh rubber and less fuel.

Lap 30 top ten VER-SAI-LEC-PER-RUS-ALB-NOR-PIA-HAM-ALO. Perez harassed Leclerc for third, with Sainz not far ahead trailing Verstappen by six seconds. Albon in sixth under staunch attack from Norris and Piastri.

By lap 35, Perez edged past Leclerc to take third and sights set on Sainz and a one-two for RBR was on the cards. Norris was pegged to Albon in a grip versus aero battle. Piastri in close attendance.

Lap 40 top ten VER-SAI-LEC-PER-RUS-ALB-NOR-PIA-HAM-ALO. Verstappen nine seconds ahead, in cruise control mode with occasional fastest laps for good measure.

Perez in DRS range and attacking second-placed Sainz, as Norris and Albon went toe-to-toe for sixth, with Piastri and Hamilton in close attendance. On lap 41 the pair collide, hunting the same piece of tarmac into the second chicane. The McLaren suffered a broken wing and a pitstop.

On lap 46, Perez finally made it past Sainz into Turn 1, after several hairy attempts. It was RBR 1-2.

Also on the move was Hamilton, who was handed a penalty for tagging Piastri, he got by Norris with ultra-fast Albon next in his sights. on lap 48 the Mercedes was in sixth.

Leclerc and Sainz were battling like age-old enemies for the final podium spot; with Russell far behind and no threat, the Ferrari duo were stealing the show with their boxing match.

Lap 51 top ten: VER-PER-SAI-LEC-RUS-HAM-ALB-NOR-ALO-BOT. Verstappen led Perez home by six seconds, with Sainz in third four seconds adrift with Leclerc large in his mirrors. The latter flinging everything he had at it but settling for fourth.

Italian Grand Prix Preview: Will Ferrari win it or blow it?

ferrari leclerc sainz f1

The 74th running of the Italian Grand Prix is going to be a fairytale for Ferrari or Max Verstappen, one with a happy ending and the other with a grim one.

Carlos Sainz blew the roof off of Monza with a stellar last-lap qualifying effort to claim pole position for today’s race. Only his fourth top-spot start in 175 GP starts. Verstappen is on 28 P1 starts, contesting his 176th F1 race.

Also in the mix was Charles Leclerc, who will start third, behind his teammate on the clean side of the track. Two versus one: aka Max Verstappen and his mighty Red Bull, spawning a couple of likely fairytale scenarios by the afternoon’s end at Monza. The gap between the trio was a marginal 0.067s!

{Note: The race report will be added to this post at the end of the Italian Grand Prix today. Please refresh this page for latest version. Enjoy the race!]

Fairytale 1: Ferrari win today at Monza!

ferrari flag italian grand prix

Whether it is Carlos Sainz or Charles Leclerc will matter not. For a Prancing Horse badged car win in Italy, on home soil, that is enough. The pilot was inconsequential for the expectant albeit long-suffering Tifosi who probably still cling to Leclerc’s victory at the venue in 2019.

A repeat would be a fairytale under the circumstances of Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s dominance this year. And not inconceivable should the drivers and team have a faultless afternoon at the Royal Park where it will be a fast and furious battle to be King of the Temple of Speed.

That’s where the catch comes in: Will Ferrari win it or blow it? That’s the harsh reality that Tifosi have to contend with. Their team, in this era, are fumblers, pitstops are hit and miss, too often unslick at a time when the top F1 crews are slicker than ever.

And of course strategy. There will be suspicion from the Sainz camp that, despite the Spaniard starting from pole on a weekend he has upped his game for the occasion of his team’s home race, Leclerc will get preferential treatment when and if the opportunity arises. This means Carlos has to scamper off into the distance before the Reds get any ideas.

Whatever the case, it will be an afternoon of intriguing decision-making within the House of Maranello as this one pans out. However, if they get their sums right, remember all four wheels, make sub 3-seconds pit stops and no mistakes they might win it.

And that would be a sweet fairytale, one of the two Charlies taking the win, Ferrari’s 20th at La Pista Magica and finally bringing an end to Verstappen’s rule of the top step of the podium. Nine will be the record streak he shares with former Red Bull hero Sebastian Vettel.

And just think how beautiful that podium will look with a Ferrari driver on the top step!

Fairytale 2: Verstappen makes it ten out of ten!

Verstappen: National anthem before the race gave me goosebumps

Today is the day Max could win his tenth Grand Prix in a row, which would be unprecedented and break the tie he has with Vettel, both on nine successive wins. Number ten would be that other fairytale ending… and probably the most likely.

If Verstappen blitzes off the line and into the lead on the opening, they will never see him again and he will bag win ten with ease. On current form and depending on his mood, on race pace Verstappen has half a second to a full second advantage over his closest rivals including fast asleep Sergio Perez in the other slower Red Bull.

Thus an early lead will mean a most likely comprehensive win for Verstappen.

However, should Ferrari and maybe even a petulant George Russell (due a good result) in the Mercedes make life difficult for the #1 car, and RBR do the unlikely and fumble a pitstop or make the wrong call, we could be in for a big upset.

But, and most likely, no matter what Fate throws at Max he handles it with the calm and aplomb of a truly great Champion. His victory at Zandvoort was one of those in which there were no more curved balls to throw at the Champ, he hit each one out of the park.

While Ferrari’s fairytale is a sweet one for Tifosi and neutrals, we are most likely in for a Verstappen masterclass, a record-breaking tenth win and another giant step towards his third F1 title in three years. And if you’re Blue, fairytale endings get no better.

Monza race day shout-outs and watch-outs

  • Nice one Russell! What’s up Hamilton;
  • Albon shares are on the rise, and Sargeant has work to do;
  • Piastri versus Norris getting tasty;
  • Lawson a wake-up call for Tsunoda? Or Ricciardo?
  • Alonso 10th, Stroll 20th… say no more!
  • Alpine and Alfa Romeo! Where art thy?

Italian Grand Prix Facts & Stats by Reuters

italian grand prix monza track map

  • Venue: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza,
  • Round 14 of the 22 race 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship
  • Lap distance: 5.793km. Total distance: 306.720km (53 laps)
  • 2022 pole position: Charles Leclerc (Monaco) Ferrari one minute 20.161 seconds
  • 2022 race winner: Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull
  • Race lap record: One minute 21.046 seconds, Rubens Barrichello (Brazil), Ferrari 2004.
  • Start time: 1300GMT (1500 local)

Italian Grand Prix

Monza aerial view Italian Grand Prix

  • The race will be the 73rd at Monza and 74th Italian Grand Prix since the championship started in 1950.
  • Built in 1922, Monza has long straights and just 11 corners with 77% of lap time at full throttle and top speeds of more than 350kph.
  • Only Jeddah has longer at full throttle while Las Vegas, debuting this year, could see higher top speeds.
  • Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari great Michael Schumacher share the record of five wins each at Monza.
  • Other past Monza winners on the 2022 grid as well as Hamilton are Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly.
  • Hamilton has started on pole seven times at Monza.
  • The Italian and British Grands Prix are the only ones to have been on the calendar in every year since 1950. In 1980 the Italian round was held at Imola.
  • Ferrari have won 19 times at Monza since the championship started, more than anyone else.

Victories, Pole Position, Podiums & Fastest Laps

2023 F1 drivers standings after Dutch GP

  • Verstappen has won the last nine races, equalling the 2013 record set by Sebastian Vettel in 2013 for most in a row, and can now take the outright record.
  • The Dutch driver has so far won 11 of 13 races in 2023. He has 46 wins from 176 starts and is fifth on the all-time list. Alain Prost, with 51, is fourth.
  • Red Bull have won every race this season (Verstappen’s haul and two for Sergio Perez) and a total of 14 in a row dating back to Abu Dhabi last year.
  • No team has ever won every race in a championship season of more than 10 races.
  • Hamilton has a record 103 career victories from 323 starts but has not won since Saudi Arabia in December 2021.
  • Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso has 32 wins, most recently in his home Spanish Grand Prix in 2013 with Ferrari, from a record 368 starts.
  • Hamilton has a record 104 poles.
  • Red Bull have been on pole in 10 of the season’s 13 races, with Charles Leclerc taking the top slot in Azerbaijan and Belgium and Hamilton in Hungary. Verstappen has eight poles for 2023.
  • Six teams and nine drivers have made a podium appearance this season: Red Bull, Alpine, Aston Martin, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari. Verstappen has yet to finish outside the top two.
  • Verstappen holds the record for most podiums in a season — 18 in 2021. He has been on the podium for the past 14 races.
  • Michael Schumacher is the only driver ever to have finished on the podium in every race of a season, in 2002.
  • Six different drivers have taken fastest laps this season – Alonso, Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, Verstappen (6), Perez (2), Hamilton (2) and Mercedes’ George Russell.

NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Race winner and 2013 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates with team mates following the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sebastian Vettel