Red Bull gremlin causes late scare in Max Verstappen’s record winning run

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen celebrates victory after getting out of his car at Monza.

Max Verstappen pumps the air after taking a record 10th victory in a row at Monza.

Max Verstappen revealed he had to “nurse a little issue” on his Red Bull towards the end of the Italian Grand Prix, but it was still a record-breaking victory for the World Championship leader at Monza.

Verstappen took a 10th win in a row in Formula 1 after overcoming a staunch defence from Carlos Sainz on Sunday – setting an unprecedented feat in the sport in doing so by taking to the top step at Monza.

While he was able to get away from the battling Ferrari duo behind, the margin of victory he had at the end of the race was significantly lower than he has become accustomed to of late – finishing 6.8 seconds ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez come the chequered flag.

That was still comfortable enough for the two-time World Champion, however, who extended his lead at the top of the standings to 145 points with victory at Monza.

Verstappen revealed that he had to take a “patient” approach to overtaking Sainz, with it taking 15 laps for him to pass the Ferrari driver for the lead of the race on Sunday.

The strong straight-line speed of Ferrari combined with the defending from Sainz made it a tough proposition for Verstappen, but he took his opportunity when it came after Sainz locked up into the Rettifilo Chicane.

“I never would have believed that that was possible,” Verstappen said after the race when reminded of his record-breaking win.

“But we had to work for it today, and that made it definitely a lot more fun.

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“We have good pace. I think we were good on the tyres, but they had a lot of top speed and it was so hard to get close and get a move on into Turn 1, so I had to force him into a mistake.

“And luckily, it came at some point where he locked up and then I had better traction out of Turn 2, basically from there onwards, we could do our own race.

“I was just trying to stay patient, it was still a very long race. I could see they were struggling a lot with the rear tyres, so I just had to pick my moment.

“Everything felt good, we had to nurse a little issue at the end but we had luckily the gap behind so I could easily back out.”

Read next: Italian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen overcomes Ferrari frustrations for record-breaking 10th win