Sunday, April 21, 2024

Mercedes ‘Maximised’ Italian Grand Prix Result Despite Incident-Filled Race – Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff felt the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team maximised their points haul during the Italian Grand Prix, even if George Russell and Lewis Hamilton made life difficult for themselves along the way at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Russell ended fifth and Hamilton sixth on Sunday despite both acquiring five-second time penalties, the former for leaving the track and gaining in a battle with Esteban Ocon and the latter as a result of contact with Oscar Piastri, with Wolff feeling both time penalties were fair.

However, the pace of the W14 was good enough to ensure that neither driver lost any positions in the final order once the penalties had been applied, although the team were clearly the third fastest team in Italy behind Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari.

“That was a pretty incident-filled race for us and we maximised the points that were in there today,” said Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes.  “But like always, we need to be careful not to be too happy about finishing fifth and sixth.

“Looking back at them, I think both penalties for the drivers were fair, but fortunately they both did a great job to make sure they didn’t have any consequence for the finishing positions; they both just took it on the chin, got their heads down and kept on racing.”

Wolff believes the Singapore Grand Prix weekend should offer Mercedes a better chance of fighting for the podium, with the higher downforce Marina Bay Circuit set to suit the W14 better than the low downforce set-up needed at Monza.

“We know that these low-downforce circuits are not our strong suit, and in fact I think we have seen progress over the season from Baku to Spa to here,” Wolff added.

“The next race is Singapore, so back to high downforce and coming towards our direction a little it more. It will be important for us to maximise that opportunity when it comes.”