Race Report: Verstappen beats Ferrari at Italian GP

The Italian Grand Prix was a tough place to pass but that didn’t stop Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez from passing both Ferrari’s at their home race to take the top two steps of the podium. It was Max’s record-breaking 10th win in a row in 2023.

The Italians were buzzing with Carlos Sainz on pole and he converted that to a third place by holding off his own teammate, Charles Leclerc, in a very tough battle for the last step of the podium.

Win

A Win for Max Verstappen and Red Bull by taking Max’s 10th win in a row and coming closer to the perfect season. We’ve never seen this before and despite the domination, it is a very impressive run for the team and Max. That win is compounded by a great fight from Sergio to battle his way to 2nd giving the team a one, two finish.

A win for Ferrari who managed to finish 3rd and 4th at their home grand prix and while the Tifosi would prefer a win, given the team’s recent slump, this is a good return to the big points and podium.

Another win for Alex Albon and Williams holding off Lando Norris’s McLaren for 7th place and more points for the team. Logan Sargeant did well too by finishing 11th.

Given their lack of pace due to drag and a setup that wasn’t on song, Mercedes did a good job of maximizing their points this weekend with George Russell running up from most of the day to finish 5th and Lewis Hamilton dragging his car up to 6th and nullifying his 5s penalty for punting Oscar Piastri off track. A good result for both drivers.

A win for Liam Lawson who was the sole Alpha Tauri driver on Sunday and finished in P13 ahead of some veteran racers so great job Liam!

Another quiet win is the 10th place that Valtteri Bottas managed to squeak out for a point.

Fail

It’s not a harsh fail for McLaren as Lando Norris did finish in the points but Oscar was a bit ragged out there clouting his teammate and getting entangled with Lewis to drop him to 12th and out of the points.

Aston Martin was on the back foot all weekend but Fernando Alonso did manage a 9th place but his teammate, Lance Stroll, was mired down in 14th.

Alpine had a miserable weekend, as did Haas F1, and simply lacked the pace at a track that did not flatter either team’s cars.

WTH

Not sure what happened to Yuki Tsunoda’s car or why it took so long to remove from the track but I suspect it wouldn’t come out of gear and required a flatbed truck to remove it.

I don’t think Haas F1 had ideas of a podium but they were well off the pace all weekend and that’s unfortunate.

Italian GP Results:

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT501:12:13.61825
211Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT50+7.686s18
355Carlos SainzFERRARI50+11.674s15
416Charles LeclercFERRARI50+12.119s12
563George RussellMERCEDES50+18.925s10
644Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES50+39.111s8
723Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES50+45.198s6
84Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES50+45.549s4
914Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES50+46.424s2
1077Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI49+65.950s1
112Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES49+71.398s0
1281Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES49+72.240s0
1340Liam LawsonALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT49+73.268s0
1418Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES49+81.658s0
1524Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI49+81.913s0
1610Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT49+82.236s0
1727Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI49+1 lap0
1820Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI49+1 lap0
NC31Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT39DNF0
NC22Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT0DNF0
REVIEW OVERVIEW
OVerall Race
race-report-verstappe-beats-ferrar-at-italian-gpIt was hard to pass here but there was enough challenges and intra-team battles to keep it interesting.
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Worthless Opinion

Fun race, as long as you don’t want any anticipation about the winner. Nice after a couple years of ‘i’m just about positivity, man’ Lewis to see ‘ReaLewis’ again, the one who ruined Alex Albon’s career at Red Bull. LeClerc missed his chance at Ferrari immortality. He should have locked up at turn one and taken Verstappen’s front wheels off and ruined the RBR streak and handed Carlos the win. Even Max’s engineer would have cheered.

Worthless Opinion

Surprised to hear the criticism of passing opportunities it seemed to me like there was a lot of action in that race and while it wasnt easy it was on the brakes and in the turns. Isn’t this podcast always complaining about push-to-pass and ‘i’d rather see fewer good passes than sailing by on the straight’ and all, this seemed more to me like what you’re typically asking for.

Peter

People talk about how exciting the race was… The second DRS was enabled, it was over.

In the preshow, a reminder of Clark and Stewart… When racing was real, not DRS fake passing. Fake is fake. There is no pretending otherwise.

Xean Drury

I agree with you that DRS can be ditched any old time, please! But I’ll also say that it was better than we have seen in this race, thanks to the shortened DRS zones.

Xean Drury

Can anyone put any logic into doing a second formation lap when Yuki’s car was stranded? they’re at the start/finish. They’re stopped. WHY send them around again? And further, when it was red flagged, why did it takes so long to allow the mechanics onto the grid? When Ferrari isn’t Ferraring their own team, the home race takes over and Ferrari’s the whole she-bang!

Worthless Opinion

The whole thing really did seem sort of Italian, it just took them so long to read the writing on the wall.