Max Verstappen and Red Bull came out on top in a battle against the Ferraris to secure victory in the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix and make more F1 history – the Dutchman moving ahead of Sebastian Vettel with ten wins on the bounce and the team stretching their winning run to 15 races.
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Verstappen slotted behind the pole-sitting Carlos Sainz at the start but hounded his rival as the opening stint wore on, eventually forcing the Ferrari driver into a mistake at the first chicane on Lap 15 and then sweeping past around the outside of the Curva Grande.
From there, the reigning double-world champion never looked back. He pulled out a comfortable advantage up front for his latest F1 record as Sainz, teammate Sergio Perez, and the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc fought over the remaining podium positions.
After an action-packed finale and some fierce defending from Sainz, it was Perez who emerged with the runner-up spot behind Verstappen, giving Red Bull their sixth one-two finish of the season as they turned the tables on Ferrari at the famous marque’s home track.
Sainz and Leclerc sent heart rates racing at the Scuderia as they went wheel-to-wheel over third to the chequered flag – a massive lock-up from the Monegasque into the first chicane on the last lap settling the scrap in his teammate’s favour.
Behind the drama at the front, Mercedes logged a solid double points finish as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton came home fifth and sixth, respectively, despite both drivers being hit with five-second time penalties.
Russell took him for leaving the track and gaining an advantage at the first chance in a fight with Alpine driver Esteban Ocon. In contrast, Hamilton – who used a different tyre strategy to make up ground late on – took him for a clash with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri at the second chicane.
Alex Albon gave Williams more points in seventh, defending from the other McLaren of Lando Norris in a race to the finish line, as the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
Liam Lawson finished on the brink of the points in his second appearance in place of Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri, with Piastri 12th after that incident with Hamilton and a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
Williams rookie Logan Sargeant was left to rue his own coming together with Bottas and a five-second time penalty for causing that collision en route to 13th, followed by the other Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu and Pierre Gasly’s Alpine.
It was a quiet afternoon for Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll after his back-of-the-grid start, the Canadian taking 16th at the chequered flag from the Haas machines of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, who had another challenging race day.
Two drivers failed to make it to the finish, with Esteban Ocon retiring late on in the second of the Alpines and Yuki Tsunoda watching the action from the sidelines after a reported engine failure on the formation lap put his AlphaTauri out before the race had even started.
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
Even if Verstappen and Red Bull once again picked up all the points, the Italian Grand Prix was truly spectacular, with plenty of thrilling and close duels. Today’s track temperature was always above 40° C, which led to slightly higher tyre degradation. Despite this, and even with a trio of compounds that were softer than last year’s, the drivers did not have to worry about tyre management, as seen from the many duels we witnessed, some going on for several laps. In terms of strategy, our predictions from yesterday were pretty much confirmed in the race. The one-stop was definitely the quickest, and those who pitted earlier than the predicted window then had to make a second stop, except for the Williams duo, who once again proved to be particularly adept at tyre management.
Finally, I want to thank the crowd of hundreds of thousands of fans who packed out the grandstands at this historic circuit over the three days. This is our home race, and even if we are not competing with opponents on the track, we feel part of the excellent show that is Formula 1, especially here at Monza.
How the race was won from the tyre point of view:
As expected, the race evolved linearly with two compounds, the Medium and Hard, playing their part. The Softs were not used at all. 17 drivers out of 20 chose to start on the C4, with just Hamilton, Bottas and Magnussen preferring the C3. Six drivers pitted twice, but in Piastri’s case, that was because he had to come in to change the damaged front wing after an incident with Hamilton. At the same time, the other five (Gasly, Zhou, Lawson, Hulkenberg and Magnussen) chose this route as the drop in performance from their tyres was too high in the first stint.
Of the three drivers who started on the Hard, Hamilton and Bottas finished higher than their grid position, two better for the English Mercedes driver and four for Alfa Romeo’s Finn. Magnussen, however, only made up one place because the two drivers ahead of him did not make it to the chequered flag.
Monza marks the end of the European leg of the Formula 1 season, which moves on to Singapore in a fortnight. The street circuit hosts the Singapore Grand Prix night race from 15 to 17 September, and Pirelli will supply the C3, C4 and C5 compounds.
Next week, Pirelli will be testing for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday in Monza and at Fiorano. At the home of the Italian Grand Prix, the programme will focus on dry weather tyre development with Red Bull and Alpine, while on the Ferrari-owned track, the work centres on trying new solutions for rain tyres with the Scuderia.
2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:13:41.143||25||364|
|2.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing||+6.064s||18||219|
|3.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+11.193s||15||117|
|4.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+11.377s||12||111|
|5.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+23.028s||10||109|
|6.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+42.679s||8||164|
|7.||45||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+45.106s||6||21|
|8.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+45.449s||4||79|
|9.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Aston Martin F1 Team||+46.294s||2||170|
|10.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+64.056s||1||6|
|11.||40||Liam Lawson||New Zealand||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+70.638s||0||0|
|12.||81||Oscar Piastri||Australia||McLaren Racing||+73.074s||0||36|
|13.||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||+78.557s||0||0|
|14.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+80.164s||0||4|
|15.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Alpine F1 Team||+82.510s||0||37|
|16.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+87.266s||0||47|
|17.||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||9|
|18.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||2|
|10.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||36|
|16.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNS||0||3|
2023 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||583|
|2.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||273|
|4.||Aston Martin F1 Team||217|
|6.||Alpine F1 Team||73|
|7.||Haas F1 Team||11|
|8.||Alfa Romeo Racing||10|