Italian GP 2023


Race Notes - Verstappen takes ten in a row

Max Verstappen, Italian GP 2023
© Red Bull

By Mark Karp

Max Verstappen in his Red Bull-Honda won the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, taking his record-breaking tenth win in a row.

His team mate Sergio Perez finishes second, 6.802 seconds behind.

Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari took third place, 11.082 seconds behind the winner.

Chales Leclerc in the second Ferrari finished fourth, followed by George Russell (18.294s) in fifth, Lewis Hamilton (38.903s) in the second Mercedes in sixth, Alex Albon (38.903s) in the Williams-Mercedes was seventh, Lando Norris (45.212s) in the McLaren-Mercedes was eighth, Fernando Alonso (46.294s) in the Aston Martin-Mercedes was ninth, and Valtteri Bottas (1m04.056s) in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari took the final point in tenth place.

Before the start the weather was warm and most drivers are expected to start on mediums and switch to hards, or start on hards and switch to medium tyres with a one-stop strategy. The first 13 starters on medium tyres except for Hamilton on hard tyres.

At the turn of the hour the drivers took to the formation lap, and coming into the final corner Tsunoda pulls off the track, the start is aborted and the field takes to another formation lap, the marshals are not able to move the AlphaTauri with the car stuck in gear, so the cars line up on the grid and the start is aborted.The mechanics go to the cars and we get the message that we will reattempt to start again at 20 after the hour.

A truck takes away Tsunoda’s car quickly.

The drivers set off a second time and come around to the grid. The lights went off and the race started with Sainz takes the lead ahead of Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell and Perez.

Norris gets past Hamilton for eighth.

On lap 2 Albon passes Piastri for sixth.

On lap 3 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m25.702s.

Verstappen reports that he is sliding a lot.

On lap 6 Verstappen comes side-by-side with Sainz into the first corner, but Sainz keeps the lead.

On lap 8 Alonso passes Hulkenberg for tenth.

At lap 10 Sainz leads Verstappen by 0.5 seconds, followed by Leclerc (1.5s), Russell (3.6s), Perez (4.1s), Albon (8.4s), Piastri (9.7s), Norris (10.6s), Hamilton (11.6s) and Alonso (15.2s) in tenth.

On lap 11 Gasly pits for hard tyres.

On lap 14 Perez attempts to pass Russell into the first corner, and both cut the corner.

Norris reports that he is quicker than his team mate Piastri.

On lap 15 Verstappen challenges into the first corner, Sainz locks up, and Verstappen takes the lead into the next chicane.

Albon pits for hard tyres.

On lap 16 into the first corner Perez passes Russell for fourth.

On lap 20 Sainz pits from second place for hard tyres and rejoins ninth. Russell pits from fifth for hard tyres and rejoins tenth.

The next lap Verstappen and Leclerc pit for hard tyres, Verstappen rejoins sixth. The two Ferraris battle with Sainz going ahead of Leclerc.

The next lap Perez and Alonso pit for hard tyres, Perez rejoining seventh behind the Ferraris, and Alonso rejoining 12th.

On lap 23 Norris pits for hard tyres and rejoins 11th.

Sainz sets fast lap at 1m25.558.

Piastri pits from the lead for hard tyres and rejoins 11th.

Norris passes Piastri, the two touching.

Russell is given a 5-second penalty for going off while passing.

Verstappen passes Hamilton, yet to pit. for the lead.

At lap 26 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.8 seconds, followed by Sainz (4.7s), Leclerc (5.4s), Perez (5.6s), Russell (11.1s), Albon (21.3s), Norris (22.8s), Piastri (24.2s), and Alonso (29.7s) in tenth place.

On lap 28 Sainz and Leclerc pass Hamilton who pits for medium tyres and rejoins tenth.

On lap 28 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m25.434s.

Hamilton reports that he has a long distance to go on medium tires,

On lap 29 Hamilton passes Alonso into the first corner to take ninth.

Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m25.398s.

On lap 31 Perez is closely challenging Leclerc for third.

Into the first corner the next lap Perez passes Leclerc for third in the DRS.

On lap 32 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m25.240s.

At lap 35 Verstappen leads Sainz by 7.6 seconds, followed by Perez (9.9s), Leclerc (10.4s), Russell (16.9s), Albon (31.5s), Norris (32.2s), Piastri (33.4s), Hamilton (36.9s) and Alonso (40.1s) in tenth place.

Hamilton reports that his tyres will not last until the end of the race.

On lap 38 Norris goes side-by-side with Albon into the first corner, but bales out and cuts the corner.

On lap 40 Hamilton goes side-by-side with Piastri but can’t make the pass, but their next lap they make contact and both go off, Hamilton takes eighth. Piastri pits and changes his nose and rejoins 14th.

Hamilton is under investigation for the incident.

On lap 43 Perez trys to pass Sainz, but isn’t able to.

Piastri sets fast lap at 1m25.072s.

On lap 44 Perez battles with Sainz and cuts the first chicane, but needs to give the position back.

Hamilton passes Norris for seventh.

On lap 47 Perez passes Sainz for second place.

On lap 47 Leclerc passes Sainz into the first chicane, but Sainz comes back and keeps third.

Hamilton passes Albon for sixth place.

Sainz and Leclerc continue to battle for third place.

Piastri passes Lawson for 12th.

On the first lap Leclerc goes side-by-side into the first corner, Leclerc locks up and cuts the corner.

Verstappen wins ahead of Perez, Sainz and Leclerc.