Max Verstappen claims he almost retired from 2023 Italian GP

Max Verstappen lost four seconds to his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez in the closing laps of the Italian GP on Sunday.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen broke the record for most consecutive wins in Formula 1 on Sunday, after being victorious for the 10th race in a row at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman further wrote his name into the history books with a staggering 10th consecutive victory, eclipsing Sebastian Vettel’s record from 2013.

Verstappen was forced to work very hard for the win though, after having to find a way past Carlos Sainz.

Sainz led the opening stages after starting from pole, whilst Verstappen sat right on his gearbox in second.

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The Red Bull driver started the race in P2 after going just 0.013s slower than Sainz, in what was a thrilling Q3 on Saturday.

Verstappen was clearly quicker than Sainz but struggled to find a way past, due to Ferrari’s very impressive straight-line speed at Monza.

He even complained about this on the radio, as not even a helping of DRS was enough to overtake the 29-year-old.

However, an error from Sainz at the opening corner on Lap 15 allowed Verstappen to sweep around the outside at Curva Grande, to move into the race lead.

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In true Verstappen fashion, he cleared off into the distance and built a lead of just over 10 seconds.

Bizarrely though, it was noticed that Sergio Perez took four seconds out of Verstappen’s advantage in the closing laps, after the Mexican got past Sainz for second.

Verstappen revealed after the race that he was actually suffering from an issue, which meant he had to “nurse” his car home for a 12th win of the season.

“I never would have believed that that was possible,” Verstappen said after claiming the consecutive wins record.

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“But we had to work for it today, and that made it definitely a lot more fun.

“Everything felt good, we had to nurse a little issue at the end but we had luckily the gap behind so I could easily back out.”