top of page

Catching Up With Formula One: Monza

Written by Sofia Costantino, Edited by Mara Simion

Are you ready to dive into the high-speed world of Formula One? Whether you're a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the sport, there's never been a better time to catch up with everything happening on track this year.

This article has got you covered, from the latest race results and driver standings to the biggest shocks and controversies. So buckle up, and get ready to experience the thrill of the race like never before!

Verstappen and Alonso were unperturbed by the changing Zandvoort weather; Image credits - Red Bull

Oh dear Monza, filled with this enormous energy, culture, history and the most prestigious, we are so ready for you. Before we get into this unique weekend we are headed into, let’s do our usual catching up before the race so you’ll be more than ready!

Super Max Verstappen took his eleventh race win of the 2023 Formula One season, also the ninth in a row, to match Sebastian Vettel's record, also with Red Bull in 2013.

Verstappen thrilled the home fans with his ninth win in a row; Image credits - Motorsport images

Although this news is not surprising at all, the way to achieve it continues to accredit him as a generational reference with talent and now exceptional maturity.

In a challenging race, witnessed by a massive audience and with changing weather conditions, teams often have to adapt quickly. These variable conditions can disrupt the typical race order and heighten the potential for errors, both by individual drivers and teams in terms of strategy and execution. Decisions have to be made rapidly, leaving little room for hesitation.

Image credits: Motorsport Images

Verstappen stood out undisturbed in dry, wet, moderate rain and downpour, all in the same competition. Not surprisingly, another architect in the adverse conditions of rain and wet track, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso, did an unbelievable race.

Much of the race's narrative unfolded in the initial 72 laps. As soon as they started on a dry and sunny track with Verstappen from the leading position, the strong breeze from the North Sea also brought a sudden rain that made several drivers and teams doubt whether or not they should switch to intermediate rain tyres (green stripe), since the circuit presented a mix of dry and wet patches.

Red Bull immediately pitted Sergio Pérez (seventh on the grid) while leaving Verstappen out for one more lap, to avoid congestion in Zandvoort's narrow garages. This decision, however, reshuffled the race order and positions.

Image credits: Motorsport Images

Verstappen quickly closed a 14-second gap to his teammate, averaging a gain of two seconds per lap. As the track began to dry, he was less than five seconds behind Pérez. With Fernando Alonso, already on dry tyres, rapidly closing in, Red Bull acted swiftly. They pitted Sergio Pérez in the eleventh lap to fend off a potential undercut by Alonso.

From then on, despite the exit of the Safety Vehicle to neutralize the race a few turns later due to the Logan Sargeant/Williams-Mercedes misalignment, the race stabilized, with the RB19s in the first two places and Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin/Mercedes third, including a new tyre change between laps 41 and 49, with Verstappen the last to do so, thus not losing the first place.

With 11 laps to go, with a lead from Verstappen to Pérez of 10 seconds and this with Alonso of almost 10 more, another downpour began, which flooded the track making it impassable to generate a Red Flag. Before that, Pérez lost second place by “Aquaplaning” at the end of the main straight (even with recent rain tyres), while Verstappen held firm, adapting swiftly to the changing conditions.

After 43 minutes, the race was restarted for the final seven laps, two behind the safety car. Verstappen held up the insistent Alonso, determined to look for his only real chance to overtake a rival on the wet track with cars matched by these very special conditions.

Image credits: Motorsport Images

Sergio Pérez also lost third place to Pierre Gasly (Alpine/Renault) due to a five second penalty for speeding in the pits.

This weekend the F1 circus is going to the Temple of Speed, Monza. Another chance to try and beat Verstappen. But as Lando Norris said, “we'll have to wait for him to make a mistake to win. The problem is that he does not commit them (nor does his team), even in the most adverse conditions.”


bottom of page