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Monza, Italy

It's lights out and away we go in Monza...

For over a century, the national motordrome of Monza, the 'Temple of Speed' has been a pulsating test unrivalled in pace on the Formula One calendar. And this weekend was no different.

A new qualifying format delivered excitement in bucketloads, as Ferrari roared back into contention. A breathtaking qualifying session saw Ferrari and Red Bull clash fiercely for pole position. A Ferrari 1-2 as the clock ticked down in Q3. Charles Leclerc improved. Leclerc planted his scarlet Ferrari on provisional pole. Max Verstappen thundered down Parabolica. Under pressure, once again, secured a pole position. As the home crowd let out a sigh of frustration, Carlos Sainz emerged on top to the elation of the tifosi lining the famous Monza track.

And suddenly, the record seemed in jeopardy. The Monza Curse. The Fernando Alonso 33 curse. A flamboyant Ferrari in Italy. In the end, it was all inconsequential. On the track where Vettel won his first race, where Ascari claimed victory nine times, Verstappen surpasses them both for consecutive wins. And at the home of Ferrari, Red Bull surpass them with 15 in a row.

An aborted race start later, Carlos Sainz made an impressive getaway, holding off Max Verstappen's advances into turn one. It took 15 laps, but finally the Dutch maestro swept past Carlos Sainz at Curva Grande, before pulling off into the distance. Even with the air fraught with tension and expectation, he cantered to yet another victory this season. Formula One's force of nature, implacable. The RB-19 this season is undoubtedly supremely powerful, but the reigning World Champion must be credited for his staggering dominance. Race after race of precise, flawless racing from an athlete at the peak of his powers. Sebastian Vettel's seemingly insurmountable record has been passed, but the question remains, how much will it be extended?

For the Ferrari fans who have had little success to enjoy this year, but a podium at home was celebrated, even embraced. A chorus of 'Carlos, Carlos, Carlos' ensued, deserved for the Spanish driver who fought so ferociously all weekend. Sergio Perez ultimately claimed runner up in a three-way battle for second, but it was the thrilling encounter between the two Ferrari drivers that provided sparks and fireworks. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz vying mercilessly for third sent hearts racing, as every Ferrari fan collectively inhaled as the Monegasque driver divebombed Sainz, and yet another shocking Ferrari disaster loomed.

Behind the battle for the podium, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished in fifth and sixth respectively, even with five second time penalties. Alex Albon continued his impressive form achieving more points for Williams. Lando Norris and McLaren failed to continue their stellar form, but finished eight, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas in the top ten.

Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen's series of disappointing performances continued, the Canadian underwhelming in a competitive Aston Martin, and Magnussen lacking in comparison with Nico Hulkenberg, regardless of the Haas' limited race pace. With Daniel Ricciardo still absent, Liam Lawson continued to make a stand for a permanent seat in Formula One.

And with that, all statistical anomalies disappear. Max Verstappen has 10 in a row. Red Bull unbeaten. History. Eight races. 3 sprints. All that stands in between Red Bull and absolute perfection.

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