Five in a row for Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen with Italian Grand Prix victory

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: A general view as Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen celebrated his fifth Formula One win in a row with a dominant drive to victory from 7th place to the grid in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza, while team-mated Sergio Pérez advanced to 6th place at the finish from a 13th place start despite a race-long brake problem that meant he was unable to push to his maximum.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) 

Verstappen had qualified 2nd for the race, but took a five place grid penalty for receiving new engine parts that pushed him back to the fourth row in 7th. It was clear that the Dutch driver had the pace to win for the instant the lights went out however. He made up two positions in the first corner and was on the tail of leading duo Charles Leclerc and George Russell by Lap 4.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) 

From there it was just a matter of time before Verstappen took the lead from Leclerc, which he did during a Virtual Safety Car caused by the failure of Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin. From there, Verstappen never looked like relinquishing the lead and crossed the finish-line under a Safety Car scenario 2.446s clear of the Ferrari driver to win his first-ever Grand Prix at Monza, a fifth consecutive success and his 11th victory of the season.

With Monza victory, Verstappen has now extended his lead in the Formula One Drivers’ Championship to 116 points over Leclerc, with Pérez still in 3rd and just 9 points behind the Ferrari driver.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

With six races to go and 164 points available, Verstappen now has a mathematical chance of wrapping up the 2022 Formula One World Championship at the next Grand Prix in Singapore on October 2.

It was a day of mixed results for Scuderia AlphaTauri at the Italian Grand Prix, where Pierre Gasly backed up his strong Qualifying result of 5th and showed strong pace throughout the race to finish inside the points in 8th place, but Yuki Tsunoda was unable to make much progress from his back-row starting position and finished in 14th.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT03 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

QUOTES

Oracle Red Bull Racing

MAX VERSTAPPEN – 1st

“The first lap I had to be careful, but we had a good start and were clean through the first chicane, and for me that was the most important thing, to stay out of trouble. Then we were very quickly back up to P3 and even into P2. Then I could set my sights on Charles and I could see we had better tyre degradation. Overall, if you look at the pace of our car this weekend, especially today, I think we were strong. The pace was good on every tyre and we were comfortably the quickest on the track. You have to try and be as perfect as you can be and on most occasions this season, we have been pretty good.”

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 makes a pitstop during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) 

SERGIO PÉREZ – 6th

“My race got compromised fairly early when my front right brake disk got super-hot and was basically on fire, so we had to make the decision to pitstop. The first laps on the hard I couldn’t get any temperature into the tyres, because I had to lift and coast. I was losing a lot of lap time and my first stint was compromised. That affected my whole race and I had to massively manage my brakes. It was critical at that point, because I could have lost them and had to retire the car. In the end we boxed thinking we could get Lewis back on the softs, but unfortunately the Safety Car meant we didn’t get the chance. I had better tyres than Lewis, so it would have been good to get the restart, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. For me it wasn’t a good weekend and we have plenty to do. I’m back on the simulator tomorrow and trying to get back into a good rhythm straight away.”

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Red Bull Racing leaves the pits with his front brake overheating during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) 

CHRISTIAN HORNER – Team Principal and CEO

“We would have liked to have seen the race play out today, we certainly didn’t want to win under a Safety Car. We believe there was enough time to get the race going, but the Safety Car picked up George Russell, which delayed proceedings. Despite that, we believe we had enough pace in hand on the one-stop strategy. Checo had to pit early because there was a flat spot, a lot of vibration, then a bit of debris got into the ducts which caused a small fire, but his recovery from there was great. Fastest lap for Checo too, so important points for him and the team. Max was yet again so impressive, even if they had the fastest car, I’m not sure if anyone could stop Max today.

“The whole team has been performing at such a high level all season and our performance all weekend has been brilliant. We know we compromised quali slightly yesterday, but it paid off. More challenges lie ahead with Singapore and beyond, so we look forward to that. Ultimately it was a somber race for obvious reasons, but we are happy we could bring home the win with Her Majesty’s insignia on the nose of the car and we dedicate the victory to the life and memory of HRH, Queen Elizabeth II.”

Scuderia AlphaTauri

​​PIERRE GASLY – 8th

“Looking at the result, finishing behind the top three teams is the best we could have done and I’m very happy to be collecting points again. It was a slightly frustrating race, I think I’ll have nightmares about Ricciardo’s rear wing for the next few nights, we tried a few different things to try and pass him, and our overall performance was competitive, but we just didn’t have the pace to get past the Mclarens today. We’ll now prepare for Singapore, we know what we need to work on, how to improve and we’ll aim to continue finishing in the points.”

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia AlphaTauri and Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Scuderia AlphaTauri pose for a photo with Olivier Giroud and Davide Calabria prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 11, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

YUKI TSUNODA – 14th

“Starting last on the grid was always going to be difficult today, but I think the start of the race was good for me and I was able to make some overtakes. I struggled with the pace on the Hards, so we need to go away and look at our long-run pace and try and improve this for the upcoming races.”

JODY EGGINTON – Technical Director

“It’s good to come away with points today, with Pierre driving a solid race. At the same time, it’s frustrating that with Yuki we couldn’t turn the strong performance he’s shown here into a representative grid position and a better fight for points, due to penalties. Regarding Pierre’s race, the fight with the McLarens was good, but with two against one and Ricciardo proving tricky to pass, the McLaren strategy created some breathing space for Norris, which we could not recover, meaning we came home in P8 with Pierre. In summary, it’s good to be scoring points again, but we need to be getting both cars up there in order to improve our Constructors’ position, so obviously this is one of the key areas to be focused on.”

FRANZ TOST – Team Principal

“The fans and the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of this historic track, didn’t deserve the race to finish the way it did today, as it would’ve been fantastic to see a fight on the last few laps. Unfortunately, as Ricciardo stopped so late, in accordance with the regulations we had to finish the race behind the Safety Car. As for us, our race was reasonably good. Pierre started from fifth position and finished eighth. He struggled a little bit with understeer on the Hards, but generally speaking – and also considering the performance of the cars in front of us – this was the best possible finishing position we could achieve today.

“Yuki started from the back of the grid, therefore it was not so easy to overtake cars, nevertheless he managed to do this well. We called him in during the Safety Car for the Softs, as we thought he would have a good chance with the new tyres, if the race was restarted, but unfortunately this was not the case. He could only finish in P14, but in general, Yuki had a good race weekend. Overall, we scored four points here, which is positive as we have closed the gap to Haas, so we now need to keep this momentum for Singapore in a few weeks and until the end of the season.”