While Pierre Gasly says Red Bull and Max Verstappen will be feeling “invincible” right now, he believes the sternest test of their F1 2023 winning streak yet arrives at the Italian Grand Prix.
With victory last time out at the Dutch Grand Prix in front of his ‘Orange Army’, Verstappen made F1 history by matching Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine victories in a row.
And with the F1 2023 campaign now calling at Monza, Verstappen is the overwhelming favourite to set a new benchmark of 10 in a row, which would preserve Red Bull’s unbeaten status so far this season.
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Pierre Gasly lauds peak Max Verstappen and Red Bull
Gasly knows what it is like to test himself against Verstappen as his Red Bull team-mate, and now watching on as an Alpine driver as Verstappen dominates the series, Gasly says what we are witnessing is a team and driver firing on all cylinders in every possible way.
Asked by media, including PlanetF1.com, what makes Verstappen so strong, Gasly replied: “At some point, it’s when you put all good ingredients together, you end up with a good deal. Trying to do a good pizza with rotten tomatoes, it doesn’t work.
“They’ve got a good base, they’ve got a good car, they’ve got an excellent driver, he’s the focus of the team, it’s just everything is performing at its best exactly at the same moment, which ended up with such a domination.
“He is performing at his best, I think the Red Bull car is objectively and definitely the fastest in this paddock. They are doing very few mistakes, they are often the best at pit stops, they’re just on top of their game and there’s nothing really which seems to unsettle them, especially on his side of the garage.
“But as a driver, he’s very talented. And you start winning oncee, twice, build-up the confidence on top of the skills that you’ve got. And on top of that, you know that every single weekend you come with the fastest car, so it’s almost like kind of feeling a bit invincible. And that’s a bit where are they at at the moment.”
Pierre Gasly doubts Max Verstappen will streak clear at Monza
While the Tifosi will of course be cheering Ferrari on at Monza, only the bravest would confidently predict that they, or any other team or driver will have the beating of Verstappen this weekend.
But, Gasly does believe this is the biggest challenge which Verstappen faces yet in F1 2023 to keep his win streak going, with only one more needed to set a new outright record.
Asked if he ever thought Vettel’s nine-race winning streak could be beaten, Gasly replied: “Maybe I was naïve, but I did think that it will be beaten at some point.
“I think you get to appreciate and respect a lot all of these records, but at the same time, I’ve seen from let’s say my short life now that there have been incredible records that have been broken, which no one would have would have thought.
“I think this weekend is actually probably the trickiest one for Max to win. It’s Monza, it’s a very different track, it’s very low drag, quite a lot of incidents can happen into Turn 1.
“You have a massive gain with DRS, so if someone is fast enough to stick to your DRS the whole race, they could get a chance to…I’ll be surprised if he pulls out his 32-second lead like he can do on some other tracks.”
Gasly also goes into this race, which he sensationally won back in 2020, with his own shot of momentum having scored his first podium finish for Alpine at the Dutch GP.