Catch him if you can: Verstappen is poised to make F1 history at the ‘Temple of Speed’.

What better place than the ‘temple of speed' for Max Verstappen to set a new Formula 1 record with ten straight wins?

Victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza next weekend would break the mark he shares with Sebastian Vettel. It might be appropriate at the track where Vettel clinched the first of his 53 GP wins in 2008.

The now-retired Vettel dominated Formula One, winning four straight world titles with Red Bull, the last of which was in 2013 – the year he won nine straight races.

Vettel was Red Bull's first superstar in his first ultra-dominant era, but Verstappen is now failing him. Vettel seemed unstoppable only when he was at his best, but Verstappen seems untouchable most of the time.

Verstappen's victory in Sunday's rainy Dutch GP equaled Vettel's mark of nine straight wins in a season and placed him 46th overall. With so many years ahead of him, the 25-year-old Dutchman is poised to surpass Vettel's career win tally.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton holds F1 records with 103 wins and 104 pole positions. But even the seven-time F1 champion never managed more than five straight wins in his Mercedes glory, twice towards the end of the title-winning campaigns in 2014 and 2020.

It's a point that Verstappen doesn't seem to have lost.

Because while some observers say that it's easier for him because he has such a fast and reliable car, he counters this argument with a pointed reminiscence of years past.

“I think there have been more dominant cars in the past than what we have at the moment and they haven't managed to win nine times in a row,” said Verstappen, who referred to Mercedes without mentioning the team. “It's never that easy.”

Verstappen's march towards his third straight title now actually looks straight forward considering he has a 138-point lead over his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in second place. He leads this year with 11-2 wins over Perez, underscoring the difference in performance between the two.

Verstappen was just nine years old and just learning how to go karting when Fernando Alonso clinched his second F1 title in 2006 – while notching a career-best four wins.

The 42-year-old Spaniard is recognized as one of the greatest talents of his generation, a refined craftsman, astute tactician and master of all conditions.

Alonso has competed against the very best for over two decades and speaks glowingly of Verstappen.

“Sometimes people underestimate what Max achieves,” said Alonso, who has been waiting for 32 race wins for 10 years. “I think it's so complicated to win so dominantly in any professional sport.”

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