Verstappen ‘very proud’ after waiting for Sainz mistake for new wins record

Max Verstappen says he had to wait for “a tiny mistake” from Carlos Sainz to take the lead of the Italian Grand Prix and secure a record-breaking 10th win in a row.

Sainz started from pole position and retained his lead off the line, with Verstappen stuck between the two Ferrari drivers in the opening part of the race at Monza. Once he found his way into the lead on lap 15, Verstappen was able to pull away and broke the record for consecutive wins he had previously held with Sebastian Vettel.

“Of course it’s something you don’t expect to happen,” Verstappen said. “I never thought in the beginning of the season that something like this was possible. Yeah, very proud, but also just very happy, I think, with the race in general. We had good pace again — we could look after our tires. It was quite an interesting little battle in the beginning to try and get a move into Turn 1, but we just didn’t have the top speed to do so.

“I just had to wait for a tiny mistake or a tiny lock-up, whatever, and at one point, Carlos had a little lock-up which then made me have a good run out of Turn 2, and once I got in the lead, I could just focus on my own pace. The car felt really nice to drive.


“Honestly, I’m just very proud also of the whole team effort the whole year. What we’re doing at the moment, winning every race this year, is something that we definitely are enjoying, because I don’t think these kind of seasons come around very often, and that’s the same of course with winning 10 in a row.”

Behind Verstappen there was further action with Sergio Perez climbing through to take second ahead of the squabbling Ferrari drivers, but the Dutchman — who had to slow his pace late on to deal with overheating — believes the grid order is what set up the battles in the race.

Verstappen had to fight his way past the Ferrari of Sainz in Monza. Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

“I think in general, it’s still hard to pass around here. I think up at the front, it’s also because we were behind them, so we were faster and we had to pass. I don’t know, I don’t think it’s track specific. Also, here in qualifying sometimes, you can maybe jump one or two places but then in the race drop back. So it creates more overtaking, or at least the chance of possible fights. I don’t think it’s always the track.

“I haven’t spoken to the team yet about what the (overheating) issue was. They just told me what I had to do, and I did that to the end. Luckily we had the gap behind, so I could take it quite easy to the end.”

Story originally appeared on Racer