'Mad Max', to improve Vettel's record;  Fernando Alonso arrives third at the temple of speed

'Mad Max', to improve Vettel's record; Fernando Alonso arrives third at the temple of speed


He Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), outstanding leader of the F1 World Cup, will seek his tenth victory in a row -and with her, remain alone the historical record of triumphs consecutive- in the Italian Grand Prixthe fourteenth of the year, which takes place this weekend in Monza, the temple of speed. A circuit in which the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) will run ‘at home’; and his compatriot, the Asturian double champion Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) enters third overall.

Verstappen, 25, getting closer to winning his third title in a row, achieved last Sunday, in Zandvoort and in front of his fans, his eleventh victory of the course. The ninth in a row, with which he equaled the nine in a row he signed in 2013, also for Red Bull and in his fourth glorious year, the four-time German world champion Sebastian Vettel. The new sporting idol of the Netherlands -which drove his audience crazy again- also raised the record for the best start in the history of his team to thirteen wins in a row (14 consecutive victorious times, if we add the last race in 2022); and this Sunday, on the Parque Real de Monza track, where he won last year, he will seek to beat Vettel’s record.

sport Stopping Verstappen, the great objective this weekend of the Canadian F1 GP
Stopping Verstappen, again the great objective this weekend of the Monza F1 GP

The insatiable Verstappen, who, barring absolute misfortune, will be proclaimed triple world champion and who will dedicate the rest of the season to polishing up his very outstanding record With all the records that are within your reach, leads the championship with 339 points. Exactly 138 more than his partner, the Mexican Sergio Pérez -winner of the other two races-, together with which no one doubts that the Constructors’ World Championship will win again for the Austrian team.

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Sport Fernando Alonso, getting closer

Fernando Alonso, getting younger at 42, is third overall. At 171 units of ‘Mad Max’, the Asturian star is the best of those who do not drive the almost invincible single-seater designed by the stellar English engineer Adrian Newey, a true guru of aerodynamics. At Zandvoort he completed, in a chaotic and rain-drenched race, another sensational display, with which he achieved his best result of the year. Fernando raised his podium ratio to seven so far this season (his ‘drawer’ number 105 in F1) equaling his best position, the second he had repeated in Monaco and in Canada. Marking, in addition, the fastest lap in the race. Voted Driver of the Day, he signed a masterpiece by overtaking at the start, between the second and third corner, in one stroke and improbably, the Thai Alex Albon (Williams) and the British George Russell (Mercedes). Before passing, singing in the rain, on the second lap, another Englishman, Lando Norris (McLaren); and to pass, among others, the two Ferraris of Monegasque Charles Leclerc and Sainz -fifth at the finish line and overall-, in a race in which he signed his twenty-fourth fastest lap in F1: twenty years after the first -in Canada 2003, when he became the youngest to achieve it at that time- and six after the previous one: at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, at the Hungaroring.

The scene of the first of his 32 wins in the premier class. The great Asturian pilot, after Verstappen the most cheered by the always enthusiastic Dutch public, was very close to achieving his long-awaited victory ’33’, as his team manager, Mike Krack from Luxembourg, recognized after the race. And it seems clear that he will not give up in his efforts to add to a list of victories that he completed for the last time more than ten years ago, by winning the Spanish Grand Prix in Montmeló (Barcelona). In his day the owner of the majority of precociousness records, Alonso -author on the shores of the North Sea of ​​the first fastest lap in the history of his new team- also signed another two historic records in Formula One on Sunday: the ones with the longest interval between their first podium finish and their last (7,462 days: almost twenty and a half years, between Malaysia 2003 and last Sunday); and greater interval between his first and his last fastest lap (7,378 days). Records that, obviously, he will be able to continue extending if he maintains his spectacular level. And if the improvements to his AMR23 -in the flat bottom, front wing, engine cover and sidepods- continue to have an effect.

sport Fernando Alonso looks for number 33 on the stage of number 32: this is how the Spanish F1 GP is presented
Fernando Alonso will once again look for victory 33 in F1.

Sport Monza, a legendary circuit

For now, it can also boast of having been the only one who has always entered Q3 (the third round of qualification); and in all the races, except one, he has improved -or at least maintained- his starting position. Monza, a legendary circuit which benefits powerful engines and requires minimal downforce configurations, it has a 5,793-meter track and eleven curves (four to the left), where the highest speeds in the World Championship are reached. And in which, as of this Friday, when free practice starts, in the dry it will be shot with tires of the most rigid range of compounds: the C3 (hard, recognizable by the white stripe), C4 (medium, yellow stripe) and C5 (soft, red).

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Training will be completed on Saturday, hours before qualifying, who will order the starting formation for Sunday’s race, scheduled for 53 laps to complete 306.7 kilometers. On a track where Alonso celebrated two of his 32 victories -both from pole position- in the premier class (in 2007, with McLaren; and in 2010, with Ferrari) – and where nobody has won so many times ( five) as the two seven-time world champions: the German Michael Schumacher and the Englishman Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Fourth in the World Cup, now twelve points behind Alonso, who not only kept him at bay in the Netherlands, but also increased his advantage over him.

sport Fernando Alonso (Alpine) in the Monza race
Fernando Alonso with Alpine in the Monza race.

Sainz, who recovered his fifth place overall -now with three points more than his teammate (102-99)- will run, again, as a local in Monza. Before the very enthusiastic ‘tifosi’, who expect a good result from the ‘Scuderia’, still far from where they would like to be; and that he will ride this weekend with a style that pays homage to his victory in the last 24 Hours of Le Mans (France). ‘Checo’, a six-time winner in F1 and aiming for his thirty-fourth podium, was once again followed by misfortune in Zandvoort, where he came first and finished fourth; him losing the podium, having been penalized with five seconds at the end -for exceeding the speed limit in the ‘pit lane’- and, possibly, for the strategy that Red Bull designed for him. Clear leader in the Constructors’ World Championship, with more than double the points (540-255) than Mercedes. Aston Martin, which is third, with 215 -fourteen more than Ferrari-, announced at the beginning of the week that this Friday, in the first free session at Monza, the Brazilian tester Felipe Drugovich -F2 champion last year- will replace the Canadian Lance Stroll; that he will get on AMR23 again in the afternoon session.

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