Written by Sofia Costantino, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
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!
Singapore is just around the corner, and some amazing things happened at the last race around the magical Monza circuit. The one and only Max Verstappen entered his name in the Formula One record book, with his tenth consecutive win, and the fifteenth in a row for his Red Bull team. With the extraordinary record, Verstappen also ends with the controversial previous, which Sebastian Vettel shared, with nine consecutive wins in the 2013 season -also for Red Bull- and Alberto Ascari between 1952 and 1953 with Ferrari, but this run of nine wins included the Indianapolis 500 Miles calendar, rarely with a Formula One competitor.
Along with this record breaking weekend for Red Bull, the Italian Grand Prix will be best remembered for the exceptional performance of Carlos Sainz and Ferrari. To begin with, the Spaniard achieved pole position on the starting grid, with a lap time only 0.013 seconds better than Verstappen, and six hundredths ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc in third. The smooth operator then kept the thousands of local fans excited for 14 laps, doing what seemed impossible: Preventing the two-time champion from overtaking.
Although two-thirds of the season had been completed, it was surely the race Red Bull found most difficult to reach the top spot, compared to the three laps Fernando Alonso endured before being overtaken by Sergio Pérez in Saudi Arabia, the two laps from Leclerc to Verstappen in Azerbaijan, the four laps from Lando Norris at Silverstone, or just a few meters from Hamilton in Hungary.
Finally, the dream of the enormous red tide was over, and Verstappen irretrievably managed to get past on lap 15. Ferrari had prepared their cars with a very low aerodynamic load, sporting a mini rear wing, which gave it a higher speed advantage on the long straights (about 5 km/h more than the RB19), but with very little support, which caused a lot of slippage of the rear tyres, and more wear than on the Red Bull, which they bet on the contrary and therefore less degradation, having more support. The whole strategy hinged on being patient.
But the spectators would not be completely disappointed, because in the latter part of the race, already with Sergio Pérez in his RB19 in second place, Ferrari allowed its drivers to battle for third place on the podium. It was a nail-biting moment for the tifosi and for the team principal Vasseur. Something unusual for the team, and that probably would not have happened otherwise, but it served for a grandstand finish. For the entire race, Sainz had to defend from Verstappen, Sergio Pérez or Leclerc. Except for a small delay with the Monegasque in the pit, it was Ferrari's best display, best performance, and ideal strategy in the campaign.
With eight events remaining, and three of them Sprint race weekends (Qatar, USA in Austin and Brazil), Verstappen can increase or surpass his own records. With 12 so far, the 15 wins in one season (2022) looks poised to be beaten. With 364 points so far, Verstappen could surpass his record points haul from last season (545 points), or increase this streak of consecutive wins. He could also achieve the highest points margin to second place (with 145 over Sergio Pérez, 155 for Sebastian Vettel in 2013). Having led 661 laps this season, the Dutchman can break this record too (739 laps led by Vettel in 2013), or the 19 consecutive podium finishes for Michael Schumacher in 2001-2002 (Verstappen currently sits on 15).
Although the numbers are merely statistical data, which his enemies quickly take away from them, they reflect the degree and type of dominance he has exercised, comparable to that of the great figures and pairs of the past: Juan Manuel Fangio and Alberto Ascari in the 1950s; Jim Clark and Lotus in the '60s; McLaren with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in the '80s; Michael Schumacher and Ferrari at the beginning of this millennium; Sebastian Vettel with Red Bull, and Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes in the last decade. But their success hasn’t been eternal, and all know that this will only last for so long. That is the greatest motivation to continue winning and achieving. Verstappen enjoys everything while he can, because he knows that success is always temporary, and sometimes ephemeral.
This upcoming weekend we’ll have the XIV edition of the Singapore GP. It’s been 15 years since the first race took place around this magnificent street circuit.