Italian Grand Prix live coverage: Max Verstappen makes F1 history

If you are reading this then you probably know: Max Verstappen is on the cusp of Formula 1 history.

Having won nine straight races, one more victory would put his name in the history books. Verstappen currently sits level with Sebastian Vettel’s mark of nine straight wins, set back in 2013. With a win in the Italian Grand Prix, Verstappen will set a new F1 standard.

But it will not be easy given what we saw on Saturday. Instead of Verstappen on pole, it will be Carlos Sainz Jr., the Ferrari driver having thrilled the home crowd with a tremendous effort in qualifying. Right behind him will be teammate Charles Leclerc, giving Ferrari a chance to put together a two-car chain to rocket to the front.

As for Verstappen, he will come off the line second, but with teammate Sergio Pérez starting fifth, he will not have many friendly faces to help him at the start of the race.

George Russell will start fourth, with Alexander Albon lurking in sixth with an extremely fast FW45 at his disposal.

We will have you covered all morning long with analysis and more, so check back early and often! Lights go out at 9:00 a.m. Eastern for what should be a thrilling race.

And perhaps a historic one.

All updated Eastern.

Italian Grand Prix updates

F1 Grand Prix of Italy

Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Update 10:40: It is a 1-2 for Red Bull, as Pérez finishes second. Sainz holds on for the podium for Ferrari.

Update 10:39: History at Monza. Verstappen has won his tenth straight race, setting a new standard in F1.

Update 10:37: Sargeant has been given a five-second penalty. So much for those first F1 points.

Update 10:35: The Ferraris are battling, and Sainz in P3 radios in “[g]uys, let’s bring this home.”

In other words: Can we stop fighting each other, please?

Update 10:32: Hamilton is by Albon, and he has four laps to build a five-second advantage so he can hold on to P6 at the end of the day.

Farther back in the field is a battle for points — and perhaps a future spot in F1 — between Logan Sargeant and Valtteri Bottas. Bottas is running in P10, with Sargeant just three second behind. If the Williams rookie can make up that gap and get into the points, it would be a huge result for him.

Update 10:31: Facing his five-second penalty, Hamilton has gotten by Norris and is now all over Albon for P6.

Leclerc gets by his teammate, and the two Ferraris are just inches apart as they battle on Lap 47.

Update 10:30: On Lap 46 of 51, we have a Red Bull 1-2. Pérez finally gets by Sainz.

Update 10:28: Hamilton has been given a five-second penalty for the collision with Piastri.

It will be little solace for the McLaren rookie, who is currently running out of the points.

Update 10:26: Oh in case you were wondering Verstappen has built an 11-second lead over Sainz so … yeah. That matter appears settled.

Update 10:23: A battle between Hamilton and Piastri ends with some contact, as both drivers slide off the track. They avoid a true disaster as both drivers were able to forge on, but the damage to Piastri’s MCL60 forces him to come in for a new front wing.

Update 10:19: Best battle on the track right now is between Albon and Norris for P6. Norris gets a great run out of Parabolica and down the opening straight, but Albon forces him to the outside line at Variante. Norris does get by Albon, but does it off the track, and the McLaren driver immediately gives the place back.

He’ll try again next lap.

Update 10:17: Hamilton expresses some concern about how long his set of mediums needs to last.

Update 10:14: Leclerc has managed to stay within DRS range of Pérez, but that might be due to the Red Bull driver doing some tyre management.

Update 10:09: The duck has been caught, as Pérez gets by Leclerc right near the start/finish line. Pérez now has to chase down Sainz who is over two second ahead of him.

Update 10:08: Leclerc is holding on for dear life in P3, with Pérez all over him. Leclerc has fallen out of DRS range from Sainz in front of him, and it seems like he is a sitting duck.

Update 10:07: Norris is all over Albon for P6, and Norris has Piastri right behind him. Albon put on a defensive masterclass at the Canadian Grand Prix, and might need another one to hold on here.

Update 10:07: Hamilton makes the most of those “damn” tyres, getting past Alonso and into P9.

Update 10:06: As for those mediums, as Hamilton notes to his team it is a “long way to go on this damn tyre, man.”

Update 10:04: Hamilton gives up P2, as the Ferraris and then Pérez get by the Mercedes. Hamilton comes down pit lane and switches to a set of mediums.

Update 10:01: Verstappen is back in the lead thanks to an overtake of Hamilton.

Hamilton remains in second, but has yet to make a pit stop.

Update 9:58: And now it is the McLaren duo battling each other. Piastri comes out of the pits and just gets into the side of Norris, but the two continue on.

Russell has been given a five-second penalty for leaving the track to execute a pass on Esteban Ocon.

Update 9:56: With drivers cycling through pit stops, Piastri is currently leading the Italian Grand Prix, followed by Hamilton.

Update 9:54: Quite the battle playing out right now.

Between the two Ferrari drivers.

Leclerc rockets out of the pits and tries to get ahead of Sainz, but Sainz holds him off. The two get side-by-side for a moment as well, but Sainz manages to keep the position.

“This one’s looking tasty between the teammates” is the description from Alex Jacques in the F1TV commentary booth.

Update 9:52: Red Bull tells Verstappen to come into the pits, and Ferrari gives the same order to Leclerc.

Update 9:51: There it is. Ferrari brings Sainz in to the pits, and Leclerc moves up into P2.

But Pérez is right behind him, and it might just be a matter of time until we have a Red Bull 1-2 at the front.

Update 9:49: With the Ferraris running P2 and P3, Leclerc tells his team that Sainz is struggling with his rears.

All of this means a strategy call will be coming from Ferrari soon. Those always go well.

Update 9:48: A little further back, Piastri is running P6 with his teammate Lando Norris behind him in P7. Norris radios into his team that he has more pace, and that Piastri needs to pick things up.

Update 9:45: As expected, Verstappen finally gets by Sainz. The Ferrari driver locks up at Turn 1 and as the two head towards Curva Grande, opening the door for Verstappen. The overtake then comes on the inside of Roggia.

Update 9:42: Pérez gets by Russell but it comes off the race track, so we will see if the Red Bull driver will give the place back. Pérez radios in that Russell “pushed me off.”

Pérez, however, gives the place back.

Update 9:42: Russell radios into his team “[u]ndercut will be very powerful, I think.” The idea is that Ferrari is struggling with tyre management and picking up ground through early pit stops could be the play.

Update 9:41: Fernando Alonso is back in the points, having gotten past Hülkenberg.

Who else has passed the Haas driver? Liam Lawson. In just his second F1 race Lawson is running P11, just outside the points.

Update 9:39: Gasly makes the first stop of the day, coming in for a fresh set of hards. He rejoins the fight down in P19.

It has been a tough weekend for Alpine.

Update 9:38: Verstappen is told that Sainz is struggling with the rear “a lot.”

The Red Bull driver is also told to engage “mode 8,” which probably is a play towards management. The RB19 has great race pace, and they can afford to play the long game here.

Update 9:36: Absolutely brilliant in-car radio for Mercedes. Russell is advised to employ more “management” in Turn 6.

The driver’s response? “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve got a car right up my ****.”

Update 9:35: The top five have pulled away from the field a bit: Sainz, Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, and Pérez. The gap from Russell to Pérez is around 0.415 seconds.

Then the gap from Pérez to Albon in sixth is over three seconds.

Update 9:32: Verstappen gives it a go on Sainz, but the Ferrari driver gets his elbows out, forcing Verstappen to the outside, and he manages to hold him off.

For now.

“That was naughty,” comes the report from Verstappen to his team.

Update 9:30: Sainz holds onto the lead into Lap 5. Verstappen reports to his team that Sainz is “sliding,” which may or may not be cause for concern for the Scuderia.

Update 9:29: Lap 4 is underway, and DRS has been enabled. We’ll see how this plays out with Verstappen within DRS range of Sainz at the front.

Update 9:26: Sainz leads the first lap. The man on the move is Nico Hülkenberg who is into P10 after starting outside the points.

Albon lost P6 to Oscar Piastri after the start, but took it back at the start of Lap 2. That FW45 looks fast, even with Albon starting the Grand Prix on a used set of mediums.

Update 9:25: Sainz holds off Verstappen at the start, and Leclerc remains in third with Russell all over him.

Update 9:23: We are finally underway out at Monza.

Update 9:22: Formation lap number three is underway.

Update 9:18: The Italian Grand Prix will now be 51 laps, not 53, due to the two failed formation laps.

Update 9:16: Silver Arrows? Silver linings.

Update 9:14: Tsunoda’s car has been cleared, and the third formation lap will begin at 3:20 p.m. local time/9:20 a.m. Eastern.

Update 9:12: In addition to the difficulties getting Tsunoda’s car off the track, there is reportedly an issue with the starting lights. So the cars are parked at the start and mechanics have been allowed to come onto the track to help maintain car temperatures.

Admin feeling spicy:

Update 9:08: The start of the Italian Grand Prix has been delayed for five more minutes as marshals work to remove Tsunoda’s car from the track.

Update 9:07: Leclerc reports that his SF-23 “is not turning very well in the right hand corners.”

Something to watch when we get going.

Update 9:03: Yuki Tsunoda pulls off and reports an engine failure before the formation lap draws to a close. So we will have just 19 cars to start the Italian Grand Prix.

The start has been aborted and the cars are sent around for another formation lap.

Update 9:02: Do not expect to see many pit stops today. Given the speed of the race, too much time is lost on a pit stop to make more than the one required tyre change worthwhile.

Update 8:59: 17 of the 20 drivers will start on the medium compound today. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, and Kevin Magnussen are on the hard compound.

Update 8:55: It’s about that time.

Pre-race updates

RaceF1 Grand Prix of Italy

Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Update 8:52: Christian Horner outlines how Verstappen is starting on the “dirty” side of the track. The P2 slot at Monza is off the main racing line, and over the years drivers starting in that spot have struggled off the line. That could see Leclerc power Sainz out ahead of Verstappen shortly after the start.

Update 8:50: Toto Wolff talks about hope as well. “There’s always hope,” says the Mercedes Team Principal to F1TV. He also outlines the battle plan for the Silver Arrows. “I think it’s going to be difficult to overtake so we’re going to be maximum attack into the first corner.”

Update 8:47: Buxton on his pre-race grid walk as he reaches the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr: “Is hope enough beat Max Verstappen?”

Update 8:36: Rising temperatures are the talk at Monza today. Alex Albon, speaking with Lawrence Barretto, warns that the high temperatures might pose a problem for Williams and the FW45 due to tyre degradation issues.

Update 8:35: “This track can produce stunning races,” outlined F1 journalist Will Buxton on F1TV’s pre-race show.

Here’s hoping.

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