Max Verstappen fought for the victory at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday. (F1 photo)

Verstappen Continues Winning Streak At Italian GP

MONZA, Italy — Max Verstappen has been unbeatable as of late — a pattern that he continued Sunday at the Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale Monza.  

When he crossed the finish line, the Red Bull Racing driver collected his fifth consecutive Formula 1 victory in a streak that began with his win at the French Grand Prix in late July.

More impressively, Verstappen has attained each victory in different fashions — some came despite grid penalties, some were won from pole position and some were the result of a hard charge from the back of the field.

At Monza, Verstappen was relegated to seventh starting position despite being second fastest in qualifying, due to a five-place grid penalty.

Verstappen entered the week 109 points ahead of title rivals Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, who were tied for second, giving him a comfortable enough gap where winning wasn’t necessary. Still, the defending champion admitted that, if he managed to clear the track ahead of him, then, “I will of course go for the win.”

And that he did.  

Leclerc held the lead in his Ferrari following the start, but Verstappen was on the move early. The two exchanged the lead twice after they took turning swapping tires in the pits, but it was the Red Bull driver who ultimately came out ahead.

On lap 48, due to the on-track issues of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, a Safety Car was deployed, essentially assuring Verstappen of victory.

Five laps later, Verstappen passed the checkered flag 2.446 seconds ahead of Leclerc with Mercedes’ George Russell taking the final podium position.

“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 tire 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,” Verstappen said.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top five.