Will Max Verstappen break his Monza ‘curse’?

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen heads to the Italian Grand Prix this weekend searching for a 12th win of 2023.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen heads to the Italian Grand Prix this weekend searching for a 12th win of 2023, something which would put him even closer to a third consecutive Drivers’ Championship.

Verstappen kickstarted the second of the season just how he ended the first half, in dominant fashion.

Whilst he had to work for his win at home, there was never any doubt that the 25-year-old would end up being victorious.

His win at Zandvoort was actually his ninth consecutive victory as well, something which saw him move level with a record held by Sebastian Vettel.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Verstappen matched the four-time World Champion’s 2013 record for nine consecutive wins, a record the Dutch driver can eclipse at Monza.

However, in order to break Vettel’s record and claim a 10th consecutive win, Verstappen will need to break the ‘curse’ which has ridiculed recent winners of the Italian GP.

The 2020 COVID-hit Italian GP was famously won by Pierre Gasly, in what was his first F1 victory.

He claimed the win after Lewis Hamilton was slapped with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, after pitting whilst the pit-lane was closed due to Kevin Magnussen having come to a halt close to it.

Article continues below

At the 2020 edition of the race, Charles Leclerc became the first victim of the ‘curse’, as a big crash saw the 2019 winner of the Italian GP retire.

Gasly became the second victim in 2021, as the 2020 Monza winner retired on the third lap of the race, whilst Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first win for McLaren.

Ricciardo and Lando Norris secured a famous McLaren 1-2, with that result having been the only time in 2021 that a team completed a 1-2 finish.

It was also at the 2021 Italian GP where Verstappen and Hamilton famously crashed into each other at the opening corner, resulting in the Dutchman’s car going over the top of Hamilton’s.

READ: Helmut Marko’s latest comments indicate Sergio Perez will be fired

Go back to last season’s Italian GP, and Ricciardo became the third victim of the curse, as he retired on Lap 45 following an oil leak.

At the front, Verstappen claimed victory.

Following the fate of recent Italian GP winners, it does present a question for this weekend: will Verstappen become the fourth consecutive victim of the Monza ‘curse’.