Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Team Principal Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton didn’t put a foot wrong when on his run to victory at the Italian Grand Prix.
Mercedes took an unlikely victory on Scuderia Ferrari‘s home turf as Hamilton beat Kimi Räikkönen to the win in a thrilling duel between two world champions.
Räikkönen had the lead throughout the race before Valtteri Bottas went long on his tyres, holding the Ferrari back into the path of Hamilton, destroying the Finn’s tyres in the process which helped Hamilton claim his sixth win of the season.
Bottas was able to claim a spot on the podium thanks to Max Verstappen‘s penalty for making contact with the Mercedes car and forcing him off-road.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the race on Sunday was a fantastic display between two world champions and stating Lewis’ didn’t put a foot wrong.
“This is what makes racing so special: the points are given out on Sunday, not Saturday, and today we were all privileged to enjoy a fantastic race-long between two champions,” said Wolff.
“Lewis didn’t put a foot wrong today – he put his car in the right place each time, was patient when he needed to be and took a fantastic win, his fifth here in Monza. But we must not forget Valtteri today: he drove a great race and deserved his podium finish this afternoon.
“For us, P1 and P3 is a fantastic result and a great reward for all the hard work the teams in Brixworth and Brackley have put in over the past weeks; last week, we struggled with the tyre management; today, it was the Ferrari that blistered the soft tyres.”
Ferrari were favourites to win the race and claim their first win at homesoil since 2010, but were denied when Sebastian Vettel made contact with Hamilton on the opening lap, spinning in the process to the back of the field.
Wolff believes that Mercedes had the faster car on race place and able to place pressure onto Räikkönen which helped Hamilton to victory.
“This afternoon, I think we had the fastest car on race pace – although we must be a little cautious because we didn’t see Sebastian’s pace without damage – but we were able to put pressure on Kimi all through the race,” Wolff continued.
“We got the strategy just right: with Kimi and Lewis at the first stop, we were ready to do the opposite of Ferrari – then extended the stint to have the biggest offset of tyre life when Kimi pitted. And with Valtteri, it was exactly the same: it was the right strategy to leave him on track, building the offset to Verstappen so he could attack in the final laps with fresher tyres. And that’s exactly what he did to get his podium.
With the Singapore Grand Prix coming up, a race where Mercedes had struggled at in the past few years but also the scene where Ferrari’s title collapse started, Wolff will be hoping the team will find some pace to build on into both championships.
“Overall, it was a very good day for the team at every level. We have Singapore coming next, which has not been our strongest track in past years.
“But we will be turning over every stone in the next weeks to find even more performance and pushing flat out to build our lead in both championships.”