Despite not taking the victory or finishing on the podium with either driver, Toto Wolff was relatively happy to leave the Autodromo Nazionale Monza with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team having an extended advantage in the Constructors’ Championship.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas locked out the front row of the grid for the Italian Grand Prix, but a ten-second stop and go penalty for the former and a bad start for the latter meant they both finished off the podium. Hamilton finished seventh and Bottas fifth despite the former dropping right to the back of the field after being penalised for entering the pit lane when it was closed.
Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, congratulated podium finishers Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lance Stroll after Monza, with the Austrian feeling the result was a ‘real victory’ for Formula 1 as a whole. He was also happy that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing failed to score points with either Max Verstappen or Alexander Albon, so extending Mercedes’ advantage at the head of the standings.
“Monza was a highly entertaining race; well done to Pierre, Carlos, Lance and their teams for well-deserved podiums and points,” said Wolff.
“We clearly didn’t get the result we were hoping for, but we still managed to increase the gap to our direct competitors, so we can look back at the Italian Grand Prix and appreciate that it was a real victory for our sport.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s Tuscan Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Wolff says he is expecting a tough weekend for the drivers and on Pirelli’s tyres.
The Italian venue is hosting its very first Formula 1 Grand Prix and Mercedes go to Mugello with very little knowledge or information about the circuit, and Wolff says it is important to prepare as well as they can for the first of a handful of new venues on the 2020 schedule.
“The next stop takes us to the beautiful Tuscan countryside and I’m excited to see what the first new track this year holds for us,” said Wolff. “Mugello is a challenging high-speed circuit with absolutely no slow corners, which will be demanding on drivers and tyres.
“There are a number of new races this year and it’s all about trying to prepare for them as well as possible – the rate of learning and adaptability will be the key to opportunities on track.
“The Tuscan Grand Prix will also be the 1000th F1 race for Ferrari, marking the long racing tradition of this great Italian brand. We will honour this achievement with a Mercedes-AMG Safety Car in Ferrari red – our nod to a racing history that brought us some of the greatest moments in Formula One.
“The men and women of Maranello have a proud history to celebrate and we’re paying respect to those celebrations this weekend.”