Never in the 73-year history of Formula 1 has a driver won 10 consecutive races in a season. Max Verstappen could, or even should, do it on Sunday.

Last weekend at Zandvoort, the two-time defending champion equaled the current record of nine straight wins set by Sebastian Vettel in 2013. He too did it in a Red Bull. Since then, nine seasons have passed without anyone approaching that mark, except Nico Rosberg with seven straight wins over two seasons in 2015-2016. Lewis Hamilton couldn’t do better than five, in 2014 and 2020.

Barring a surprise, Verstappen should be the new holder of this record in just a few hours.

“I remember when [Vettel] did it,” the 25-year-old said on Thursday, according to comments reported by various international media.

“I never thought I’d win nine first, but now that we’re here, obviously I’ll try to win ten,” he added. But above all, I simply want to win. It’s not the number 10 that’s in my head. »

This last statement is not surprising coming from the Red Bull driver. He adopts the mentality that we know him. Whatever the race, whatever the sequence, his thirst for victory is the same. And we know he is an expert in the art of managing pressure. It would be very surprising to see him stumble in Italy, even in front of a crowd that will only have love for Ferrari.

It becomes almost difficult to put Verstappen’s dominance into words. Synonyms are lacking, but we will have to find others, because the reign of the Dutchman has only just begun.

Verstappen has crossed the finish line first in 11 of 13 races this season. In Monaco, he won by nearly 30 seconds ahead of his nearest pursuer. In Spain ? 24 seconds. In Hungary, 33 and in Belgium, 22. So here he is with 339 points, 138 points behind his teammate Sergio Pérez, who occupies the second rung in the drivers’ championship.

Every Grand Prix week, Verstappen shows up in the paddock wearing his flat-peak cap and wearing his Red Bull polo shirt, rucksack slung over his shoulders. Armed with his raw talent, his confidence and his desire to win, he flies through one track after another in his reliable and powerful RB19.

“I love Max,” Fernando Alonso told the BBC a few weeks ago. He’s a driver who comes to the circuit on Thursday, puts on a Red Bull uniform, races on Saturday and Sunday, then leaves the track, returns home and continues racing on the simulator with his dad or just enjoys motorsport in general. He has a normal life. »

On Thursday, reporters at Monza asked Verstappen if his car was built around his driving style. To this, the champion replied that no, not at all.

“It’s not like that,” he snapped. I drive the car I have in my hands as quickly as possible. […] People ask me what my driving style is. My driving style is not one style in particular. I adapt so that the car I have goes fast. »

Some will say that this Formula 1 season is boring, since Verstappen is already assured of winning his third title in a row. But domination in F1 is nothing new. We might as well take the opportunity to admire the exploits that are taking place right there, before our eyes.