2023 Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton makes Max Verstappen prediction

Max Verstappen has won the last nine races in a row ahead of this weekend's 2023 Italian GP.

Lewis Hamilton has predicted that reigning World Champion Max Verstappen will comfortably win once again this weekend, at the Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen heads to Monza having claimed a ninth consecutive win last weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix, matching the record set by four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel in 2013.

Given Verstappen’s form and the fact he’s won 11 of the 13 completed races this season, most expect him to eclipse Vettel’s record this weekend and claim a 10th win in a row.

Hamilton seemingly shares that view, with the seven-time World Champion believing that the Red Bull star will be “long gone”.

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In regard to Mercedes’ aspirations ahead of Monza, Hamilton admits that the Silver Arrows are hoping that they can “maybe fight for a podium”.

“I have no clue how that will be,” Hamilton told media, including GPBlog.com.

“Max will be long gone by seconds like he always is. And then I think for us, hopefully we have a better weekend and we can maybe fight for a podium, which we should have this weekend.”

A podium was arguably on the cards last weekend at Zandvoort, despite the fact Hamilton started from 13th.

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The 103-time race winner would’ve been a real podium contender had Mercedes not made a huge mess of their strategy, which saw George Russell and Hamilton complete several laps on the wrong tyre.

A deluge of rain fell at the end of the opening lap, which resulted in the vast majority majority of drivers pitting for a set of Intermediates.

Most pitted at the end of the first or second lap, but not Russell and Hamilton.

Mercedes made the duo wait a few more laps, after initially wanting them to brave the conditions on their dry compound.

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This proved to be a huge mistake, because when the pair did eventually pit for Intermediates they tumbled down the order.

A podium was then off the cards for Hamilton and for Russell, who finished in very different places.

Hamilton recovered to sixth and was unlucky not to beat Carlos Sainz to fifth, whilst Russell finished P17 after being forced to pit in the closing laps following a puncture.