2023 Italian GP: Red Bull throw surprising curveball

Max Verstappen will be chasing yet another win at the 2023 Italian GP.

Ahead of Friday practice at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, Red Bull have left many in the paddock surprised regarding their rear wing setup.

Monza often sees some of the highest top speeds of the season, with the teams usually setting their cars up with a low downforce setup.

As a result, low-downforce rear wings are usually seen throughout the paddock, yet Red Bull appear to have a different idea for the weekend.

Max Verstappen has been fitted with the same medium-downforce rear wing which he used last weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix, where he matched Sebastian Vettel’s record for nine consecutive victories.

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This has come as a shock; however, it should be noted that the RB19 has been designed to produce higher top speeds.

Red Bull have often boasted the highest top speed at any venue with a long straight, whilst their DRS is also more effective than any other side.

Whilst Verstappen will start the weekend with the same rear wing as he used at his home race, Sergio Perez will trial a modified version of the medium-downforce rear wing.

Whichever performs best, will presumably be used by both drivers for the rest of the weekend.

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It’s a big weekend for both Red Bull drivers but for completely different reasons, with Verstappen being on the cusp of claiming yet another record.

If Verstappen wins at Monza on Sunday, then he’ll surpass Vettel’s record from 2013 and become the first driver in the history of F1 to claim 10 consecutive victories.

Should Verstappen win, then it’d also mark Red Bull’s 14th of the season but their 15th in a row.

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For Perez, the Mexican is in desperate need of a weekend without any serious errors, given how much talk there is about his future with the Milton Keynes-based team.

Whilst he is contracted for 2024, some have questioned whether he’ll remain with Red Bull next season or be replaced by the likes of Daniel Ricciardo.

Team principal Christian Horner has insisted that Perez will remain with the team, although advisor Dr Helmut Marko has admitted that nothing is guaranteed.