2023 Italian GP start time, schedule and race preview

Max Verstappen can break Sebastian Vettel's record for nine consecutive wins this weekend at the 2023 Italian GP.

The summer break is very much over, with the remaining races in the 2023 season coming thick and fast, as this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix completes a doubleheader to kickstart the second half of the season.

Last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix officially brought the summer break to a close, with reigning World Champion Max Verstappen having resumed usual service, by winning once again.

Verstappen’s win at Zandvoort marked his 11th of the season but his ninth in a row, putting him level with Sebastian Vettel’s record, which the four-time World Champion set in 2013.

It means the 25-year-old could break Vettel’s record at Monza this weekend, a venue he was victorious at 12 months ago.

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However, the Red Bull driver does have a Monza ‘curse’ to break should he want to be victorious once again, with the 2019, 2020 and 2021 winners of the race having all retired from the event the following season.

Given the high-speed nature of the historic venue, Red Bull do enter this weekend as the clear favourites, mostly due to their formidable DRS, which has often seen the RB19 boast the fastest speeds.

However, Ferrari will be keen to put on an impressive performance at their home race, especially after being so disappointing in Zandvoort.

The Maranello-based team are also rocking a special livery this weekend, to celebrate Ferrari’s overall win in June at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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Fernando Alonso is another driver to watch this weekend, despite top speed being a weak point for Aston Martin.

The Spaniard returned to the podium last weekend and will be hoping to claim an eighth top three of the season in Monza, a track he last won at in 2010, whilst driving for Ferrari.

McLaren should also be on many people’s watchlist, with the upgraded MCL60 appearing to suit all circuits now, ever since the Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes will likely struggle given the high-speed nature of Monza, with that having been their biggest issue at the Belgian Grand Prix, with the Silver Arrows often having one of the lowest top speeds through the speed trap.

Thankfully, for the first time in what feels like forever, no rain is expected this weekend.

There is a 30-40% of a light shower on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday both look set to be beautifully clear days.

It means the cars will all been performing at their absolute maximum in qualifying, something which hasn’t been seen in recent rounds due to rain.

READ: Will Max Verstappen embarrass Ferrari?

On the topic of qualifying, this weekend will see a trial of the format which sees a different compound used in each part of the session.

Q1 will feature just the Hard compound, Q2 just the Mediums and Q3 just the Softs.

Whilst Verstappen will likely be the favourite for pole, he’ll have just 53 laps of the ‘Temple of Speed’ separating himself and a record-breaking 10th consecutive victory.

2023 Italian GP start times (GMT):

Friday (September 1)

Free Practice 1 – 12:30

Free Practice 2 – 16:00

Saturday (September 2)

Free Practice 3 – 11:30

Qualifying – 15:00

Sunday (September 3)

Race – 14:00