Source: HT News Service
Published on: September 26, 2023


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Boasting 339 points, Verstappen holds a commanding lead in the drivers’ standings

After claiming a clinical victory at his home circuit, Formula One runaway leader Max Verstappen will be aiming to replicate a similar show at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend. A win at the Italian Grand Prix will be enough for the Red Bull racer to break now-retired Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One record of nine back-to-back wins. If Verstappen succeeds in setting the new record, it will be, ironically, the very same track on which Vettel had bagged first of his 53 Grand Prix victories back in 2008. This year’s Formula One race at Monza will be the 74th Italian Grand Prix since the championship started in 1950. Overall, Monza will be holding the Italian Grand Prix for the 73rd time this weekend.

The 25-year-old enjoying a 138-point lead over his Red Bull teammate

With 339 points to his name, Verstappen is currently sitting at the top of the drivers’ standings quite comfortably. The 25-year-old is right now enjoying a 138-point lead over his Red Bull teammate and second-placed Sergio Perez. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is placed at third spot in the standings.

With two pole positions, three podium finishes and fourth place in the Constructors’ Championships, Ferrari’s performance has certainly been quite underwhelming. Ferrari’s head of chassis Enrico Cardile feels that the main problem lies in the “aero characteristics” of the car.

“We think that our main weakness is on the aero characteristics of the car. So all the focus since T1 [the Bahrain test] when it has been pretty clear that we were not at the level we expected to be, the weakness was coming from there. All the focus, all the efforts has been since T1 on improving the aero characteristics of the car,” Enrico told the media in Zandvoort last week.

Mercedes’ recent performance

Just like the Drivers’ Championship, the constructors’ standings is also heavily dominated by Red Bull this season. With 540 points and 13 wins, they claim the top spot in the standings. Mercedes are placed at the second spot having collected 255 points so far this season. Mercedes have not had a praiseworthy performance in recent times. They have secured a solitary race win in the last 18 months. It was George Russell who earned Mercedes’ win at the Brazil Grand Prix in November last year. Third-placed Aston Martin are 40 points behind Mercedes on the table.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton boasts a personal record 103 victories having made 323 starts in his glorious career but the British racer has not been able to earn a win since Saudi Arabia in December two years back. The 38-year-old is placed at fourth spot in the Drivers’ Championships. Having started on pole seven times at Monza, the seven-times world champion will be a force to reckon with at this year’s Italian Grand Prix.

Disclaimer: Except for the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service