Red Bull's Max Verstappen went into the Formula 1 Italian GP at Monza with the chance to break the all-time F1 record for consecutive wins. While he claimed he wasn't thinking about potentially breaking the record prior to the race, there's no way it wasn't on his mind. And in the end, Verstappen took home the win, his tenth in a row, officially breaking the nine-win record held by Sebastian Vettel.
Thankfully, Verstappen had to actually earn this one. Typically, Verstappen starts from pole position and gains such an early lead that he's barely challenged throughout the race. However, that wasn't the case in Italy, as Ferrari's Carlos Sainz started in pole position and gave Verstappen one hell of a fight. For around 15 laps, at least.
Sainz, who won driver of the day, defended the second place Verstappen with everything he had. Incredible driving allowed Sainz to hold off Verstappen until his tires finally failed him, causing him to lock up while braking hard into turn one, which is what allowed the Dutchman to get past. Both Ferraris—Sainz's and Charles Leclerc's—had better top speed than both Red Bulls, so Verstappen knew tire wear was going to be what eventually let him take the lead.
“Carlos had a lot of top speed and it was so hard to get a move, so I had to force a mistake which I got on turn one when he locked up. I could see they were struggling with their rear tires, so I just had to pick my moment," said Verstappen after the race.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull's other driver, finished in second, giving the team yet another one-two finish to end the day. That one-two punch also gives Red Bull 540 points in the constructor's championship, more than double the second place Mercedes.
However, this season is all about Max Verstappen. Not only is he firmly in the lead for the driver's championship, and could clinch the title well before the season's end, but he's now Formula 1's all-time record holder for most consecutive wins.
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