After seizing victory on his home turf at Zandvoort last weekend, Max Verstappen equaled former Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel’s achievement of nine back-to-back wins. This means that a win at Monza would give Verstappen a record-breaking 10th consecutive triumph.
However, Pierre Gasly, the 2020 Monza champion with AlphaTauri, warns that Monza is a notoriously challenging circuit, one where victory isn’t handed to you on a silver platter.
“Max is walking into perhaps the most challenging weekend of the season,” Gasly said. “Monza is its own beast; the track demands extremely low drag settings. The opening turn itself is a chaos magnet. Plus, the DRS gives following drivers a significant speed advantage. So, don’t expect Max to waltz off into the horizon with a 30-second lead like he does on some other circuits.”
Gasly also commended Verstappen’s mature approach to the 2023 season. “He’s like a pro golfer who never slices the ball. He’s strategically taking risks and avoiding pitfalls, like last weekend when conditions were wet. You can see he’s in complete control; he knows when to dial it down a notch and when to unleash the beast within. The guy’s got it all, really,” Gasly elaborated.
Photo by: Dom Romney / F1 Flow Images
Given the impeccable form of Verstappen and his Red Bull team this year, Gasly speculates they could be floating on cloud nine.
“It’s like cooking up a masterpiece when you have the finest ingredients. Trying to whip up a gourmet pizza with spoiled tomatoes is a no-go,” Gasly noted. “Red Bull has the ultimate recipe for success—a high-performing car and a driver who’s at the top of his game. They’re hitting the high notes in perfect harmony, which is resulting in their current dominance.
“In terms of speed, the Red Bull car is undeniably the class of the field right now. They’re making fewer mistakes than anyone else, and they’re pretty much the pit stop ninjas of F1. It’s like they’re playing a video game with cheat codes enabled. Verstappen must feel like he’s on a winning streak in Vegas.”
Gasly concluded, “Confidence is like compound interest; the more you win, the more it builds up. Knowing you have the fastest car weekend in and weekend out? That’s like having your cake and eating it too. Right now, they must feel pretty darn close to invincible.”