Max Verstappen and Red Bull came out on top in a battle against the Ferraris to secure victory in the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix and make more F1 history – the Dutchman moving ahead of Sebastian Vettel with ten wins on the bounce and the team stretching their winning run to 15 races.
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Verstappen slotted behind the pole-sitting Carlos Sainz at the start but hounded his rival as the opening stint wore on, eventually forcing the Ferrari driver into a mistake at the first chicane on Lap 15 and then sweeping past around the outside of the Curva Grande.
From there, the reigning double-world champion never looked back. He pulled out a comfortable advantage up front for his latest F1 record as Sainz, teammate Sergio Perez, and the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc fought over the remaining podium positions.
After an action-packed finale and some fierce defending from Sainz, it was Perez who emerged with the runner-up spot behind Verstappen, giving Red Bull their sixth one-two finish of the season as they turned the tables on Ferrari at the famous marque’s home track.
Sainz and Leclerc sent heart rates racing at the Scuderia as they went wheel-to-wheel over third to the chequered flag – a massive lock-up from the Monegasque into the first chicane on the last lap settling the scrap in his teammate’s favour.
Behind the drama at the front, Mercedes logged a solid double points finish as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton came home fifth and sixth, respectively, despite both drivers being hit with five-second time penalties.
Russell took him for leaving the track and gaining an advantage at the first chance in a fight with Alpine driver Esteban Ocon. In contrast, Hamilton – who used a different tyre strategy to make up ground late on – took him for a clash with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri at the second chicane.
Alex Albon gave Williams more points in seventh, defending from the other McLaren of Lando Norris in a race to the finish line, as the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso and Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
Liam Lawson finished on the brink of the points in his second appearance in place of Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri, with Piastri 12th after that incident with Hamilton and a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
Williams rookie Logan Sargeant was left to rue his own coming together with Bottas and a five-second time penalty for causing that collision en route to 13th, followed by the other Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu and Pierre Gasly’s Alpine.
It was a quiet afternoon for Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll after his back-of-the-grid start, the Canadian taking 16th at the chequered flag from the Haas machines of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, who had another challenging race day.
Two drivers failed to make it to the finish, with Esteban Ocon retiring late on in the second of the Alpines and Yuki Tsunoda watching the action from the sidelines after a reported engine failure on the formation lap put his AlphaTauri out before the race had even started.
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
Even if Verstappen and Red Bull once again picked up all the points, the Italian Grand Prix was truly spectacular, with plenty of thrilling and close duels. Today’s track temperature was always above 40° C, which led to slightly higher tyre degradation. Despite this, and even with a trio of compounds that were softer than last year’s, the drivers did not have to worry about tyre management, as seen from the many duels we witnessed, some going on for several laps. In terms of strategy, our predictions from yesterday were pretty much confirmed in the race. The one-stop was definitely the quickest, and those who pitted earlier than the predicted window then had to make a second stop, except for the Williams duo, who once again proved to be particularly adept at tyre management.
Finally, I want to thank the crowd of hundreds of thousands of fans who packed out the grandstands at this historic circuit over the three days. This is our home race, and even if we are not competing with opponents on the track, we feel part of the excellent show that is Formula 1, especially here at Monza.
How the race was won from the tyre point of view:
As expected, the race evolved linearly with two compounds, the Medium and Hard, playing their part. The Softs were not used at all. 17 drivers out of 20 chose to start on the C4, with just Hamilton, Bottas and Magnussen preferring the C3. Six drivers pitted twice, but in Piastri’s case, that was because he had to come in to change the damaged front wing after an incident with Hamilton. At the same time, the other five (Gasly, Zhou, Lawson, Hulkenberg and Magnussen) chose this route as the drop in performance from their tyres was too high in the first stint.
Of the three drivers who started on the Hard, Hamilton and Bottas finished higher than their grid position, two better for the English Mercedes driver and four for Alfa Romeo’s Finn. Magnussen, however, only made up one place because the two drivers ahead of him did not make it to the chequered flag.
Monza marks the end of the European leg of the Formula 1 season, which moves on to Singapore in a fortnight. The street circuit hosts the Singapore Grand Prix night race from 15 to 17 September, and Pirelli will supply the C3, C4 and C5 compounds.
Next week, Pirelli will be testing for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday in Monza and at Fiorano. At the home of the Italian Grand Prix, the programme will focus on dry weather tyre development with Red Bull and Alpine, while on the Ferrari-owned track, the work centres on trying new solutions for rain tyres with the Scuderia.
2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:13:41.143||25||364|
|2.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing||+6.064s||18||219|
|3.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+11.193s||15||117|
|4.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+11.377s||12||111|
|5.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+23.028s||10||109|
|6.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+42.679s||8||164|
|7.||45||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+45.106s||6||21|
|8.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+45.449s||4||79|
|9.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Aston Martin F1 Team||+46.294s||2||170|
|10.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+64.056s||1||6|
|11.||40||Liam Lawson||New Zealand||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+70.638s||0||0|
|12.||81||Oscar Piastri||Australia||McLaren Racing||+73.074s||0||36|
|13.||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||+78.557s||0||0|
|14.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+80.164s||0||4|
|15.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Alpine F1 Team||+82.510s||0||37|
|16.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+87.266s||0||47|
|17.||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||9|
|18.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||2|
|19.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||36|
|20.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNS||0||3|
2023 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||623|
|2.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||305|
|4.||Aston Martin F1 Team||221|
|6.||Alpine F1 Team||84|
|7.||Haas F1 Team||12|
|8.||Alfa Romeo Racing||10|
Here are the team-by-team highlights:Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen set a new Formula One record as he surpassed the mark set by Sebastian Vettel and won a 10th consecutive race thanks to another impeccable drive, this time at the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix.
The two-time world champion started the race from second on the grid but got past the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jnr on lap 15 and was rarely troubled as he cruised to his 12th win of the season.
The victory ensured that Oracle Red Bull Racing won every race this season and extended Verstappen’s lead to 145 points in the drivers’ championship from teammate Sergio Pérez, who was able to finish in second.
Max Verstappen, Driver, Red Bull Racing
I had to be patient today to get the win. Ferrari had a lot of top speed all weekend, and I think when you look at our rear wing, we had to trim down our top flap, so our DRS the whole weekend wasn’t as effective as usual. That meant we could never have a good run down into turn one, so I had to be patient and force Carlos into a mistake. At one point, when his tyres were wearing a little, we tried to make him brake late. He locked up a little bit, and I thought, ‘Perfect’, and passed him on the exit to turn two. From there, it was about managing things and bringing the car home safely. Ten wins in a row is a record I am pleased about; it is something you don’t even think about trying to achieve because it is doubtful that those kinds of things happen. I am very proud it has happened and of what the Team has done again today. The whole year has been pretty incredible so far. And, of course, a one-two today as well, here in Monza, is remarkable for us all.
Sergio Pérez, Driver, Red Bull Racing:
It is satisfying to achieve P2 today, and it has been a brilliant day for the team. Overtaking was difficult on this track, and the Ferraris were very fast on the straights, so it was hard to make my way through the field. We had some tough racing, but I fought hard to overtake and gave it my all, which paid off. We didn’t get to show it yesterday, but it’s been a strong weekend in terms of performance.
I feel like my form is entirely back, and I hope we can have an end to the season. The team have done a lot of work on the suspension and the car’s set-up, and we have made significant steps forward here. Finally, the atmosphere here in Italy and on the podium was unique: the whole main straight was packed and a great experience. Max’s achievement today is incredible, so well done to him: today is his moment.
CHRISTIAN HORNER – CEO and Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
This was an extraordinary victory, but we had to do it the hard way. The Ferraris were speedy today, just as they had been all weekend, and with Carlos and Charles defending as their life depended on it, it meant we had to work that extra bit harder to lead the race.
Sergio did a brilliant job, finding his form to claim second, while Max continued his exemplary run to take the win. This now gives Max 10 victories in a row, breaking Sebastian’s record from 10 years ago. It’s a fantastic achievement and a massive effort from every single faction of the team.
I say repeatedly that it’s not just what you see here at the track that makes success possible. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. Formula One is the most prominent team sport in the world, and it requires every single person to do their job, investing in this car and sharing the same vision. This win is down to everyone in the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team who has done a fantastic job this season. That’s now 14 victories in a row. We are leaving Europe unbeaten, which is a remarkable achievement and something we look to extend as we head to the next race in Singapore in two weeks.
Red Bull Racing Honda best pictures:
Solid P5 and P6 finishes for the team in Monza on a day when we had the third-fastest car in the field behind Red Bull and Ferrari.
George made a solid start to run P4 for the early part of the race, defending vigorously from Perez until eventually ceding position to the faster Red Bull. George pitted on lap 19, incurring a five-second penalty when rejoining the race, but a robust and well-managed stint meant it cost him no positions. Lewis ran an offset strategy by starting on the Hard tyre, running longer than most runners before pitting to Medium tyres just after half the distance. Rejoining in P10, he could pass Alonso quickly, then close in on the battle between Albon and the two McLaren drivers. Minor contact with Piastri on lap 41 meant he incurred a five-second penalty. Still, the tyre offset said he could pass Norris and Albon on track for P6 and then build the necessary gap to maintain his position in the final standings. The team scored 18 points today and now holds a 45-point advantage over Ferrari, who climbed to P3 in the constructors’ championship today.
Every point and position we get through these races is incredibly hard-fought. We started on the hard tyre today, and it was nice to be offset but challenging at the beginning and not so easy to follow in the DRS train. I spent a lot of laps following the McLarens, so I knew that I had slightly more pace than them in the first stint and hoped I could get them on the second one. There was a big gap to catch after the stop, and I was worried my tyres would go off when I saw them, but fortunately, theirs did the same. I cleared Alonso immediately after the stop, which opened things up and let me close them down, but the incident with Piastri was unfortunate. I misjudged my gap, and it was my fault – I went and apologised to him straight after. So I think we maximised today, and now I’m looking forward to Singapore in ten days.
Fifth place was probably the maximum today, and I think we’d have taken that result before the weekend. We’ve outpaced McLaren and Aston Martin here, but unfortunately, Ferrari was just a step ahead of us here – and then Red Bull out front. They were so fast in the high-speed corners today that I couldn’t keep Perez behind any longer than I did in the early laps. It was a tough race because the degradation was high, but the long pit-stop loss means that a two-stop strategy isn’t competitive; that means a lot of time in DRS, but it’s not easy to overtake with such minor pace differences between cars.
I’m looking forward to heading to Singapore next. We were competitive there last year, and I think our car will be better suited to that circuit, so hopefully, we can fight a bit closer to the front than we managed here.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO
That was a pretty incident-filled race, and we maximised the points today. But, like always, we must be careful not to be too happy about finishing fifth and sixth. Looking back at them, I think both penalties for the drivers were fair, but fortunately, they both did a great job to make sure they didn’t have any consequence for the finishing positions; they both just took it on the chin, got their heads down and kept on racing. We know that these low-downforce circuits are not our strong suit, and I think we have seen progress over the season from Baku to Spa to here. The next race is Singapore, so back to high downforce and coming towards our direction slightly more. It will be essential for us to maximise that opportunity when it comes.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
We were the third quickest team today, so fifth and sixth was the best we could achieve. The car doesn’t have the pace of the Ferrari at this downforce level. Fortunately, the fight is much closer on standard tracks, but today was all about damage limitation. The team and drivers did an excellent job to minimise our points loss in the constructors’ championship. The hot conditions made it tricky with the tyres, and the one-stop became relatively marginal if you were pushing to defend or attack. We were expecting a tough race for the tyres. Usually, our car is quite kind to its rear tyres, but we’ve struggled to keep the temperatures down since Friday. We’re just sliding around a little too much and saying that we at least had the pace and straight-line speed to gain a few places at the end with Lewis. We’ve been some way off threatening the podium positions here, so we’re looking forward to Singapore, where, hopefully, we’ll be able to fight for the more prominent points positions.
Mercedes-AMG F1 Team best pictures:Aston Martin Formula One Team
Fernando extends our points-scoring run in a demanding 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Lance and Fernando executed trouble-free races as we came away from Monza with two more points on the board, extending our points-scoring run to 16 consecutive weekends.
Fernando qualified 10th and 20th on a challenging Saturday, where Lance managed his first practice laps of the weekend thanks to a fuel system issue in Free Practice Two.
With its ultra-high-speed demands, Monza isn’t a track that suits the AMR23, and neither driver made inroads as they began the race on Medium compounds. Both switched to Hards as the midway point of the race approached and, at the chequered flag of a caution-free race, Fernando finished a solid ninth while Lance made up a couple of places to take P16.
There are more opportunities ahead. Attention turns to Singapore, where we aim for a more competitive weekend amid the streets of Marina Bay.
Read what Fernando, Lance and Team Principal Mike Krack said after Sunday’s race at at Monza.
It was a tough race today and one of the most physically challenging of the year. We will take many lessons from this weekend and look to improve next time. I hoped we might catch Lewis [Hamilton] when he got the penalty, but as soon as he passed Alex [Albon], I knew it would be difficult. Unfortunately, Ferrari jumped us in the Constructors’ Championship after this result, so we must bounce back at the next race. There are still a lot of races and points left in the Championship.
The car didn’t have the pace we needed today, so managing it was a tough race. We tried to do something slightly different with the strategy and only stopped once, but the tyres were falling off towards the end of the stint so I couldn’t hold the position. It’s been a difficult weekend for us, so we have some work to do before we head to Singapore in a couple of weeks.
Mike Krack, Team Principal:
Scoring some points with Fernando was a minor consolation for a tricky weekend in Monza. Maybe with a few more laps, we could have challenged Lando [Norris] and Alex [Albon], but not many opportunities were available. Lance did a good job today. He moved ahead of the Haas and Alpine drivers, but he suffered with the tyres dropping off in the final part of the race. We always knew Monza would not be a remarkably kind track to us, and we had to take today’s lessons into AMR24. We will work hard to return to a more competitive position in Singapore.
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team best pictures:
Scuderia Ferrari put on a great show in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The team finished third and fourth courtesy of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who gave the Red Bulls a hard time throughout the race before leaving the Tifosi with their collective heart in mouth as they duelled between themselves for a place on the podium. It was a lovely birthday present for Carlos, who turned 29 earlier in the week. It is his 16th Formula 1 podium, his first this season and number 802 for the team. With the 27 points it picked up today, the group moves ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructors’ standings and is now 45 behind Mercedes.
The race. Carlos kept the lead after the lights went out, staying ahead of Max and Charles. The Spaniard ran a robust pace in the early stages. Still, Verstappen was always within DRS striking distance, so they swapped places on lap 16, after which Carlos made his only pit stop to switch from Medium to Hard compound tyres, followed immediately by his team-mate. After the holidays, Verstappen built up a bit of a buffer as the race for second livened up when Red Bull’s Sergio Perez caught up to the Ferrari duo. It was an exciting three-way fight, but in the end, the Mexican got ahead of the two Ferraris, his car doing better tyre management. Clear of the rest of the field, the closing stages saw Carlos and Charles light up the crowd with a thrilling duel for the podium’s final step without taking too many risks. They put on a great show, even if there was the occasional wheel lock-up from both of them at the first chicane. With three laps to go, Leclerc managed to get ahead, but then Sainz had better traction, which enabled him to retake third place at the Roggia Variante.
Farewell Europe. The Monza race marks the end of racing in Europe this season and the next round takes place in Asia, specifically in Singapore, on Sunday, 17 September.
Carlos Sainz #55
It was a great weekend all along and to be able to celebrate a podium with the tifosi is the perfect icing on the cake! I want to thank every one of them for their endless support. They are exceptional!
Today, I did everything I could to keep both Red Bulls behind, using my tyres to the limit and pushing for the entire race. Unfortunately, they still have the edge over us on race day and P3 was the maximum today. We had good battles on track with them and with Charles and I hope people enjoyed it as much as I did. Now, we have time to regroup and prepare for Singapore as soon as possible.
Charles Leclerc #16
It has been a while since I had that much fun in a race! The battles we had throughout were great, and Checo (Perez), Carlos and I were close towards the end, making for an exciting handful of closing laps. We had some free space behind us, so I enjoyed it and pushed to the maximum.
I hope that the tifosi enjoyed it as much as I did and a big thanks to them for all the support this weekend. I hope we will see more races like this and I look forward to being back on track in Singapore.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
It was a great race and the result was the best we could do today, finishing on the podium in front of our fans and bringing home 27 points, which sees us get ahead of Aston Martin and close on Mercedes.
We dedicate this result to our fans who have been so supportive all weekend long and we are pleased to have put on a good show both yesterday in qualifying and today, especially at the end of the race when we let our drivers fight it out for third place. We did that because we know how special it is to be on the podium here, but we also told them not to take any risks and they complied with that.
Carlos drove well all weekend and Charles recovered well after getting off to a difficult start on Friday. We will start from scratch again in Singapore in two weeks, but today, we can be happy with what we have done here. We knew our car would be more competitive on this track, and the SF-23 lived up to our expectations.
Scuderia Ferrari best pictures:McLaren Racing
Hear from McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, and Team Principal Andrea Stella after the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix.
A good race. I think the pace was firm today. It wasn’t easy to overtake as usual, but the rate was reasonable when we didn’t have to surpass it. We could pressure Alex the whole race, but he did an excellent job, so hats off to him and Williams. They were quick this weekend and managed to stay ahead. It was the best we could have done, so I’m happy. Big thanks go to the team at the track and factory for reacting after Spa and giving us a more competitive package. We’ll put our heads down now and start focusing on Singapore.
It was a difficult day with plenty of challenges. Firstly, it was great to lead my first Grand Prix laps, and the overall pace was encouraging today, but unfortunately, we were still lacking in straight-line speed to take the fight to Alex [Albon]. After the first stint, our race got a bit more complex and the incident with Lewis ended our chances of earning points. Lots to debrief on as a team, and we’ll aim to come back stronger in Singapore.
Our objective for the race was to finish with two cars in the points, which we only partly achieved. With Oscar, while we were in the issues, we had a collision with Lewis, which dropped him out of contention, needing to pit for a new front wing. Otherwise, I think we can be pleased with the pace shown by the MCL60 today. We were ready for more significant degradation and a more difficult race, but in reality, our degradation was manageable, and we were limited only by the capacity to overtake. This feels very encouraging, considering where we were in Spa two races ago. The team has worked very hard since the Belgian Grand Prix to address our issues quickly. They’ve done an excellent job, and parts were being delivered here until the last minute. So, well done to everyone, and now we look forward to Singapore, where we hope to be competitive.
McLaren Racing best pictures:Alpine F1 Team
BWT Alpine F1 Team endured a frustrating Sunday afternoon in Monza as Pierre Gasly finished fifteenth in the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, with Esteban Ocon retiring from the race.
In a circuit that does not play to the team’s strengths of its overall car package, and after a problematic Qualifying with both cars out in Q1 on Saturday, today’s race proved to be an uphill task for the team to salvage something for the weekend.
After an aborted start and short delay to the race due to Yuki Tsunoda’s formation lap retirement, both drivers looked to make gains on the opening lap, Esteban passing Pierre into Turn 3 to progress a position.
On a two-stop, Medium-Hard-Medium strategy, Pierre could not advance further than fifteenth at the chequered flag. Esteban attempted a one-stop Medium-to-hard plan but retired from the race after some steering vibrations, with the team opting to bring him in as a precaution.
The team remains in Monza for this week’s Pirelli Tyre Test – Esteban driving on Tuesday and Pierre on Wednesday – before the focus switches to the Singapore Grand Prix in a fortnight.
It was a tough weekend for us, with a brutal ending. Unfortunately, we had to retire the car as a precaution after feeling some steering wheel lock early on in the race. It’s been a big weekend of learning for us on a challenging track since the first session on Friday. Now it’s time to look into why we could not perform here and then quickly move on to Singapore. I have no doubt we will come back stronger and return to points-scoring form.
It’s not been our weekend, that is for sure, and it’s always a disappointing feeling when you leave without scoring points. We were not fast enough at this circuit to have any success, and, of course, we will take this as significant learning in the future and see what we can do better next time on this type of track. We gave it our all today, but the fifteenth place seemed our maximum. We have a lot of work ahead and I’m looking forward to Singapore for the next race. I’m sure we can be more competitive at the next run of Grands Prix.
Bruno Famin, Interim Team Principal:
After the high of Zandvoort precisely one week ago, we leave Monza on the back of a harsh result and general performance level. We entered the weekend knowing it would be a challenge given the nature of the track, and that proved to be the case. As a team, it has certainly been a weekend full of learning, which we can take forward to future events on circuits with a similar configuration to here in Monza. On that front, we can remain positive, and as a team, we will regroup ahead of the next race in Singapore.
Alpine F1 Team best pictures:Williams Racing
That was probably the toughest but the most proud race I’ve done. I’m thrilled. I’m sure Lando didn’t enjoy that one too much, but I did! We went into today knowing it would be a tough, long race and we knew tyre deg would be high. I think on paper, we went into this weekend expecting to be a little bit quicker than we were and four laps into the race, I knew it would be long, but we managed to keep everyone behind. We were on used Mediums and Hards, so we made it tough for ourselves; I wouldn’t want to do that race again, but I’m super happy with the result. Scoring points in two races in a row is delightful. It is impressive from where we were at the start of the year to now. I don’t think the next few races will be easy for us, so let’s enjoy these.
It was a tricky race in general. We tried to do the one-stop work after boxing early for the Hards, and I think it was just a bit too long on that stint considering the balance I had in the race, but, unfortunately, there was nothing we could do to get the car in the right window today. I struggled to keep hold of the Hard tyres and suffered quite a bit of oversteer. If we had the car in a better window, we could have held on until the end. Looking at the next races, we will keep working hard, try to put the car on the ground in a good window, and hopefully have a good pace.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
We came to Monza thinking that we could score points on merit and we achieved that today. The hot conditions were not ideal for us, but we know this is an area we need to work on, and we are working hard to improve the situation. Both drivers were excellent, especially given the high tyre degradation and hot conditions. Alex was brilliant again and could frustrate the McLarens for almost the entire race. It was a shame he couldn’t stay within 5 seconds of Lewis at the end, but to lose only one position following a solid showing in Qualifying is an excellent result. Logan drove very well and could secure a points-scoring place for a time. In the end, Valtteri had too much pace and was able to overtake. Nonetheless, racing at low downforce on a hot track and with soft compounds is a valuable experience that he can build on, starting in Singapore in two weeks.
Williams F1 Team best pictures:Haas F1 Team
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished 17th and 18th at the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
It was probably the worst race as we had no pace, the tires were falling apart, and there was no balance. We have a steep hill to climb. It’s confusing, though, because in FP3, we were P7, and today, we were the slowest by a significant margin. There was just no pace – we needed to turn this ship around.
The start was pretty much the only positive, to be honest, the only bit of fun after that challenging work. We had no performance, no balance and not good tire management or life, so it was pretty hard work out there. Frankly, we were far from points-worthy this weekend. I think we had made some progress in Zandvoort, but race circumstances somehow hid it. I felt the pace was heading in the right direction. Zandvoort is high-downforce, Singapore is high-downforce, so I hope things will return to normal and we can at least be competitive in the midfield.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
There’s not much to say except the car is not fast enough. You always try to do your best, but the car has no performance, and that’s where you end up when you cannot compete.
Haas F1 Team best pictures:
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake scored a precious point on home soil, with Valtteri Bottas finishing tenth in an exciting Italian Grand Prix. Opting for a reverse strategy as one of only three cars starting on hard tyres, Valtteri and the team executed a spotless run to make up ground in the race’s second half and climb into the top ten. Zhou Guanyu had a more challenging race, finishing 14th in a performance that boasted some excellent overtaking manoeuvres.
Sunday’s point brings the team’s tally up to ten as it closes in on its nearest championship rivals and continues the fight for P7 in the standings.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Points were the target today, and we achieved that. It’s nice to be back in the top ten, as it has been a while, despite all our hard work, and this is for everyone at Alfa Romeo. It may be just one point, but it is a good reward for the job done to turn our weekend around and for the support of our home team from the grandstands. It’s been a clean race from our side: our pace had slightly improved from qualifying, and we nailed our strategy, which helped us have some clean air and keep out of trouble. Overall, it is safe to say it has been a good day in the office today and an excellent way to wrap up the European season.
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
I am glad to see Valtteri bring home one point from this race, a fact that helps us close the gap with Haas. Considering our results on Friday and Saturday, we made a massive step forward, which is encouraging for the races ahead – mainly as we are meant to bring further upgrades in Singapore, where we must make other improvements. Overall, it has been a clean race from my side; Valtteri and I were on different tyre strategies; he started on hard tyres, and I was on mediums, focusing on the Alpines in the hope of undercutting them. In terms of pure pace, we were still behind Williams; for this reason, it’ll be crucial to make that step forward in Singapore and keep working to add new points to our tally.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative:
Before the race, we said our target today was to score at least a point, and it’s essential we were able to achieve it. We executed a perfect race and we were able to hit our target. It’s especially remarkable, given the problematic Friday and Saturday we endured, but the team dug deep and we could turn things around when it mattered. We must pay tribute to them and our colleagues in Hinwil for their support before and during the weekend. Valtteri made no mistake from lights to flag and was able to make his reverse strategy work, moving up the order in the closing stages. Unfortunately, it was a more difficult race for Zhou: we tried an aggressive strategy, pitting him a second time for new mediums, but the pace wasn’t enough to make it into the top ten. We can celebrate this point, but we must not forget about the struggles of Friday and Saturday. We must analyse what went wrong, learn and improve constantly, starting in Singapore. We showed good race pace, and if we can improve our qualifying positions, we can fight at every Grand Prix. We will not give up, not until after the final corner of the last race, in our quest to score points: we need to work harder as our target remains P7 in the championship. Finally, it’s great to be able to celebrate with a top-ten finish what has been an incredible weekend on and off the track: we started on Thursday with the launch of the new Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale in front of our garage; we had our colleagues on the grandstand, putting together an outstanding choreography; and we delivered an excellent race to top it off. Hopefully, this can start a new phase of our championship.
Alfa Romeo F1 Team best pictures:Scuderia AlphaTauri
There was also another impressive showing from 21-year-old Kiwi driver Liam Lawson, who guided his Scuderia AlphaTauri to an 11th place finish in his second grands prix. At the same time, teammate Yuki Tsunoda had a mechanical issue with his car on the formation lap and could not start the race.
A couple of things went wrong today. We need to look into the start, as I could have done a better job, and that’s where we lost the chance. The pace wasn’t too bad then, but the race slightly distracted us. I’m still learning the procedures and starting to feel more comfortable in the car, but I’m just slightly disappointed with my race, as I think we may have had the pace for points today. I’m unsure, though, so we must look into it. These races are longer than I’m used to, so I’m adjusting, but I felt much more prepared than last weekend, so I’m happy about that.
I heard a weird sound from the car, and after that, I felt no power. We don’t know the exact reason yet, but we’ll investigate. No reliability issue would’ve been excellent, but it’s only the first time this year, so we stay positive and return stronger. I wanted to race, especially starting so close to the points at our home race, so it’s a shame because our pace looked quite strong during practice, but there is a lot we can take from this weekend. The car performance has been looking consistently solid the last couple of weekends, and even if we struggled on some days, we were able to come back more vital the next day. To extract the maximum is one of our strengths, so I’m not worried about the future.
CLAUDIO BALESTRI – Chief Engineer – Vehicle Performance
Today, the target was to score points, and we didn’t. Yuki started in P11, but his race was over before the start due to an issue with the Power Unit during the formation lap, which stopped the car on track. As for Liam, who was starting in P11 at the restart, we put him on medium tyres, which turned out to be the main compound chosen by almost all the cars on the grid, to allow some flexibility with the strategy. At the end of Lap 1, Liam was in P12 and could keep up with the car’s pace around us, but the tyre degradation, which is critical in Monza, especially at the rear, was high. Therefore, we pitted him on Lap 13 to fit the complex compound. We wanted to push more on tyres for a two-stop strategy, so we called him again on Lap 33 to do another set of medium tyres. The lap times were good in the last stint, and Liam was closing the gap compared to some one-stoppers. We overtook Sargeant on the final lap while Bottas stayed in front, so Liam finished the race in P11, just outside the points. We now need to go home and analyse what we could have done better to return stronger in Singapore and beyond.