The Sun (Malaysia)

‘Stroll in the park’

Verstappen makes it a perfect 10 at Monza


MAX VERSTAPPEN wrote his name in Formula One’s history books on Sunday after winning a recordbrea­king 10th straight race, coming out on top at the Italian Grand Prix in another show of force from Red Bull.

The reigning world champion dominated on a beautiful day in northern Italy which left Ferrari fans disappoint­ed, with Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez finishing second ahead of home hope and pole-sitter Carlos Sainz.

Red Bull hailed a “stroll in the park” after a brilliant one-two which extended Verstappen’s lead on Perez at the top of the drivers’ standings to 145 points and also maintained a perfect team record of 14 wins from as many GPs this season.

“I never thought at the beginning of the season that something like this was possible. Very proud, but also just very happy with the race in general,” Verstappen told reporters.

“At one point Carlos had a little lock up which gave me a little run at turn two, and once I got into the lead I could just focus on my own pace.”

Spaniard Sainz crossed more than 11 seconds behind Verstappen despite a valiant performanc­e in an exciting race.

The red sea of home fans loudly chanted “Carlos, Carlos” in appreciati­on of Sainz’s first podium finish of the year, just ahead of fellow Ferrari man Charles Leclerc who was the last Scuderia driver to win at Monza in 2019.

“Very happy because P3 at Monza in front of the tifosi is as good as it can get, at least for this weekend because Red Bull were in the end quite a bit quicker than us as we expected,” said Sainz.

“It was a day to try and I did everything I could to keep them behind.”

Verstappen has now won 12 of this season’s races and is all but certain to claim his third consecutiv­e F1 title after breaking a record he shared with

Sebastian Vettel by winning in

Zandvoort the previous weekend.

Red Bull’s closest challenger Fernando Alonso fell 194 points behind Verstappen after finishing ninth, with Lewis Hamilton looming over his fellow veteran’s shoulder in the overall standings following a creditable sixth spot.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton, 38, trails Alonso by six points despite a difficult weekend in his Mercedes, with whom he confirmed a twoyear contract extension last week.

Last season Hamilton failed to win or claim pole position at any GP for the first time in his career and he looks a long way from adding to his record 103 race victories. –


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