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Italian Grand Prix: Verstappen sets new record; wins 10th race in a row
Max Verstappen, the undisputed leader of the Formula One championship, led Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in a one-two finish at the Italian Grand Prix on September 3. The Dutch driver's triumph on a bright afternoon at Monza's "Temple of Speed" outside of Milan also marked Red Bull's 15th consecutive victory, breaking Ferrari's previous Formula One record. Carlos Sainz of Spain finished third for the Italian team after starting on pole and holding off Verstappen until the 15th of 51 laps. This was the season's first podium finish for the Spaniard, who was applauded by the emotional crowd. With eight races left, Verstappen increased his margin of victory over Perez to 145 points. In the constructors' championship, Red Bull now has a 310-point advantage over Mercedes, while Ferrari has moved to third. Verstappen was congratulated over the radio by team manager Christian Horner after winning the race. "Well done, mate, you are on your own; that is history," Horner said. The 25-year-old driver responded over the radio when congratulated on the record victory, moving him one above the now-retired Sebastian Vettel's nine consecutive wins, "That's a nice stat," George Russell finished fifth for Mercedes, Charles Leclerc fourth for Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton sixth, and teammate and seven-time world champion George Russell fifth. Before Lando Norris of McLaren, Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo, Alex Albon finished eighth for Williams. At his native Dutch Grand Prix last weekend, Verstappen matched now-retired German Sebastian Vettel's 2013 record of nine straight victories, all attained with Red Bull. Verstappen is expected to increase the total. Red Bull's incredible success dates back to Abu Dhabi after last season, and he currently has 12 victories from the 14 races this season, giving him 47 for his career. Given Red Bull's aggressive racing style, few had anticipated Sainz to maintain the lead for very long. However, the Spaniard fought valiantly, with Verstappen displaying some annoyance at his inability to overtake. Three circuits later, Verstappen was discussing Ferrari's peak speed while still having to wait for his opportunity. Once finished, he took off and, by lap 18, had a 3.8-second lead. While Leclerc had to start from fourth on the grid, Perez had to start from fifth when Yuki Tsunoda's AlphaTauri pulled over on the first formation lap. It took Perez 32 circuits to pass Leclerc and move up to third place. Once more, Sainz presented a challenge, but on lap 46, the Mexican managed to make a move stick.
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