MONZA, Italy — For Max Verstappen it’s not about information, it’s about successful.
The Pink Bull driver might do each on the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday as he appears to be like to firmly etch his title within the Components One report books.
Having equaled Sebastian Vettel’s F1 report of 9 straight victories on the Dutch GP final weekend, Verstappen can break it on the well-known Monza monitor.
However the 25-year-old is targeted on one sole factor: the victory.
“I imply, I by no means thought that I’d win 9 in a row, initially,” Verstappen mentioned. “However yeah, now that we’re right here, in fact I’ll attempt to win 10, however it’s extra about that I wish to simply win.”
Vettel set the consecutive wins report in 2013 with Pink Bull throughout its first dominant period — when he received 4 straight titles — and Verstappen remembers how astounded he was as a teen when he noticed the German driver obtain that feat.
“I bear in mind when he did it, I mentioned ‘Wow, that’s only a loopy quantity. I believe nobody ever will do one thing like that’,” Verstappen mentioned. “And right here we’re . . . however I’m additionally probably not too fixated on it.”
Few would wager on Verstappen bettering that “loopy quantity” at Monza in a season he’s overwhelmingly dominating.
Final weekend’s win elevated his large championship result in 138 factors as he races towards a 3rd straight world title.
Verstappen additionally moved nearer to his personal F1 report of 15 wins set final yr and onto 46 total — already fifth all-time in wins. Alain Prost (51) and Vettel (53) are inside his sights with 9 races left.
And persons are already speaking about Verstappen being thought-about one of many all-time greats, regardless of his comparatively younger age.
“Properly, I imply, everybody, in fact, has their very own opinion about these type of issues,” Verstappen mentioned. “However for me, I’m not — I used to be by no means — in F1 to try to show that I belong in between different folks’s names . . . ”
One factor that may play in his rivals’ favor this weekend is that Verstappen has hardly ever fared properly on the Italian Grand Prix — though he ended his winless run at Monza final yr. Earlier than lastly clinching victory on the Temple of Velocity, Verstappen had by no means completed larger than fifth — in 2018.
Pink Bull has received each race this yr however, regardless of Verstappen wanting seemingly invincible, some assume the group will wrestle at Monza, the quickest monitor on the calendar.
He mentioned: “Persons are allowed to want for these type of issues however I believe that is going to be a great monitor for us.”
GAP TO PEREZ
Unbeaten Pink Bull is dominating the constructors’ standings identical to Verstappen is crushing the drivers’ championship.
The group is chasing a record-extending fifteenth straight win on Sunday — together with final season’s ultimate race — and has greater than double the factors of second-place Mercedes.
However most of these factors have been earned by Verstappen who has received 11 of the 13 races up to now, with teammate Sergio Pérez claiming simply two victories.
“It’s fairly laborious to see as his teammate, you realize,” Pérez mentioned. “It doesn’t actually matter what’s occurred, whether or not we’ve a great margin or dangerous margins or the automobile is changing into troublesome. He’s been in a position to extract 100%, out of him, out of the automobile, just about each weekend.”
Pérez’s two victories got here within the opening 4 rounds however the Mexican driver’s season has imploded since then and he was an astonishing 1.3 seconds behind Verstappen in qualifying for the Dutch GP, regardless of having the identical automobile.
“Positively I went via a little bit of a tricky patch via the center of the season the place I used to be struggling probably the most with the automobile,” Perez mentioned. “However I believe that’s all behind us and we ought to be having good races any further.”
Pushed by ardour, racing and innovation, it is in our DNA.
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 is who we’re. The #Ferrari legacy continues.
Siamo pronti, Monza ❤️💛#ItalianGP🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/cLg0UmAvCJ
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) August 31, 2023
Ferrari hasn’t had the very best of occasions at its dwelling monitor of late, providing little for the 1000’s of red-clad native followers — “tifosi” — to cheer about lately.
Charles Leclerc claimed victory for the Scuderia in 2019 however that has been its solely win since 2010.
Leclerc got here shut final yr however completed second after one other questionable technique choice from Ferrari.
That was simply one among a lot of botched technique selections and weird incidents which have plagued Ferrari for the previous two seasons, with the newest coming on the Zandvoort monitor final weekend.
That and the automobile’s unpredictability means Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. are dealing with an uphill wrestle. However Leclerc stays optimistic.
“We ought to be a bit extra aggressive right here,” he mentioned. “Then, whether or not will probably be sufficient to combat for the rostrum, I don’t know however I actually hope so and we are going to do every little thing for it, for certain.”
Your subscription couldn’t be saved. Please attempt once more.
Your subscription has been profitable.
Do not miss out on the newest information and data.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get entry to The Philippine Every day Inquirer & different 70+ titles, share as much as 5 devices, hearken to the information, obtain as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Name 896 6000.