Max Verstappen beat Sergio Perez into 1st place at the 2023 F1 Italian GP. Early in the race, Carlos Sainz maintained his third position after a tough competition with his Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc.
This victory marked Verstappen’s 10th consecutive win, setting a new record for consecutive F1 victories, surpassing Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari.
Italian GP Q1 Recap
According to the alternate tire allocation rules, this session used the hard tires. After getting a lap time disqualified for going beyond the track boundaries, Verstappen clocked the fastest time at 1m21.573s.
Both Ferraris received warnings for not meeting the minimum lap times in this session and underwent a review by the stewards, who decided on no further action.
Those who didn’t make it past the first round included Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), the Alpines driven by Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon (who had a detour into the gravel at Ascari), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin).
Italian GP Q2 Recap
Racing on medium tires, Sainz led initially with a time of 1m20.991s, just 0.044s faster than Verstappen.
Leclerc then outpaced him, clocking in at 1m20.977s on his last attempt. However, Verstappen ultimately bested both Ferraris, posting a final time of 1m20.937s, edging out a potential Ferrari 1-2 finish by a mere 0.04s.
Italian GP Q3 Recap
Racing on soft tires, Ferrari quickly claimed the top two spots, with Sainz leading the way at 1m20.532s, just 0.032s faster than Leclerc. Verstappen took third, but a wide turn at Roggia cost him crucial time.
The pole position changed rapidly in the last few moments. First, Leclerc clocked in at 1m20.361s, only to be outdone by Verstappen’s 1m20.307s. But Sainz wasn’t done, posting a blistering 1m20.294s and seizing the top spot by a narrow 0.013s.
George Russell will kick off in fourth for Mercedes, followed by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, Alex Albon from Williams, Oscar Piastri with McLaren, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, Lando Norris also from McLaren, and Fernando Alonso representing Aston.
|2||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||1:21.573||1:20.937||1:20.307||21|
|5||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||1:21.911||1:21.240||1:20.688||21|
|6||Alexander Albon||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:21.661||1:21.272||1:20.760||21|
|7||Oscar Piastri||MCLAREN MERCEDES||1:22.106||1:21.527||1:20.785||24|
|9||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||1:21.995||1:21.581||1:20.979||23|
|10||Fernando Alonso||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||1:22.043||1:21.543||1:21.417||19|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||1:21.852||1:21.594||15|
|12||Liam Lawson||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||1:22.112||1:21.758||15|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||HAAS FERRARI||1:22.343||1:21.776||16|
|14||Valtteri Bottas||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||1:22.249||1:21.940||14|
|15||Logan Sargeant||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:21.930||1:21.944||15|
|16||Zhou Guanyu||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||1:22.390||8|
|17||Pierre Gasly||ALPINE RENAULT||1:22.545||7|
|18||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||1:22.548||8|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:22.592||8|
|20||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||1:22.860||9|
Italian GP – Main Race
The race began after a 20-minute delay because of Yuki Tsunoda’s car facing technical issues. Consequently, the race was shortened to 51 laps. At the start, Sainz managed to fend off Verstappen, positioning himself at the lead. Meanwhile, Leclerc, instead of challenging Verstappen, was occupied with defending his position against George Russell’s Mercedes.
The 1st 14 Laps
For the initial 14 laps, Sainz successfully held off Verstappen. However, on lap 15, Verstappen managed to overtake him and quickly created a 2.5-second lead. Due to tire issues, Sainz struggled to maintain his position against Leclerc, who was closing in.
By lap 19, Ferrari decided to pit Sainz, transitioning him from medium to hard tires. At this juncture, Perez had just passed Russell and was quickly approaching the Ferraris. Both Leclerc and Verstappen pitted a lap later, with Verstappen maintaining a significant lead.
Lap 21 And Beyond
When Perez pitted on lap 21, the race heated up for the second position. Perez, Sainz, and Leclerc were competing fiercely, reducing Verstappen’s lead.
By lap 24, Lewis Hamilton, who started on a different tire strategy, became the temporary leader until Verstappen overtook him. Hamilton later fell back to the group fighting for the second position.
Verstappen then extended his lead to six seconds. The contest continued with Perez attempting to overtake Leclerc, who managed to defend his position.
However, by lap 32, Perez successfully moved to the third position using the Drag Reduction System (DRS). While Verstappen continued to maintain his lead, the challenge for the second spot heated up between Perez, Sainz, and Leclerc.
On lap 47, Perez took the second position, leaving Sainz and Leclerc in a battle for the third spot. This intense competition saw both drivers pushing their limits.
Verstappen, comfortably in the lead, finished the race with a significant margin over Perez. George Russell finished fourth, managing to offset a time penalty he received earlier in the race.
Hamilton also offset a time penalty to finish ahead of Alex Albon and Lando Norris, who were in a tight contest throughout the race. Norris’s teammate, Oscar Piastri, faced some challenges during the race, including an incident with Hamilton.
The race concluded with Fernando Alonso in ninth place, followed by Valtteri Bottas in tenth. There were some disputes further down the field, with Logan Sargeant receiving a penalty, placing him 13th in the final standings. Piastri finished 12th, and Liam Lawson, the only AlphaTauri driver, was 11th due to Tsunoda’s withdrawal before the race.
Lewis Hamiton Received a Penalty
Lewis Hamilton received a five-second penalty from the FIA due to a collision with Oscar Piastri during the Italian Grand Prix.
The multiple-time World Champion came into contact with the McLaren newcomer during braking after Curva Grande. This resulted in damage to Piastri’s front wing and necessitated a pit stop for the Australian driver.
This was the second five-second penalty for Mercedes in the Italian Grand Prix. Earlier, George Russell had been penalized for leaving the track and gaining an advantage while defending against Esteban Ocon at the Rettifilo Chicane post pit stop.
During the race, Hamilton was navigating the field on medium tires and approached Piastri at Curva Grande. Their wheels touched during braking for the Roggia Chicane, leading both to divert to the escape road.
Race officials quickly reviewed the incident involving Hamilton and decided to impose a five-second time penalty on him, to be added at the race’s conclusion.
After overtaking Piastri, Hamilton surpassed Lando Norris and Alex Albon, positioning himself sixth on the track. The challenge for him was to maintain a five-second lead over the Williams driver by the race’s end to retain that position.
The Race Results
|1||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||50||12:13.6||25|
|2||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||50||+7.686s||18|
|7||Alexander Albon||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||50||+45.198s||6|
|8||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||50||+45.549s||4|
|9||Fernando Alonso||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||50||+46.424s||2|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||49||+65.950s||1|
|11||Logan Sargeant||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||49||+71.398s||0|
|12||Oscar Piastri||MCLAREN MERCEDES||49||+72.240s||0|
|13||Liam Lawson||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||49||+73.268s||0|
|14||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||49||+81.658s||0|
|15||Zhou Guanyu||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||49||+81.913s||0|
|16||Pierre Gasly||ALPINE RENAULT||49||+82.236s||0|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||HAAS FERRARI||49||+1 lap||0|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||49||+1 lap||0|
|NC||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||39||DNF||0|
|NC||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||0||DNF||0|