Toto Wolff says the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team did not perform as good as they should have during last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, but the team were happy to be able to extend their lead in the Constructors’ Championship.
Max Verstappen gave Red Bull Racing the victory at the Circuit Zandvoort, but Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finishing second and third respectively insured Mercedes outscored their rivals in the Teams’ championship standings.
And Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, says the battle between them and Red Bull is only going to intensify as the season goes on.
“We have nine races to go in this Championship fight and the battle is only going to get more intense, but our mission is clear,” said Wolff.
“Last time out at Zandvoort, we simply didn’t put all the pieces together – we took some risks and gave it our best shot, but it just wasn’t enough.
“A double podium brought us solid and useful points, extending our constructors’ championship advantage, but we know we need to be consistently bringing our A-game if we want to finish this season on top.”
This weekend sees the third leg of the triple-header that has started the second half of the season, with the Autodromo Nazionale Monza hosting the Italian Grand Prix, and Wolff says Mercedes will be facing a completely different challenge due to the low downforce set-up nature of the track.
Monza will also see the second of the planned Sprint Qualifying races on Saturday afternoon, and Wolff is excited for the challenge ahead this weekend as Mercedes bid to continue their streak of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship triumphs.
“As we visit Monza to finish this triple-header, we face a completely different track and challenge, which is exciting for all of us,” said Wolff. “It’s a historic and unique circuit, with the lowest downforce levels of the season and most of the lap spent at full throttle.
“It’s also the second race weekend with the Sprint Qualifying format, so that’ll add some extra spice to the mix, too. We learned lessons on the new format at Silverstone and look forward to bringing that knowledge with us into this weekend.
“The atmosphere at Zandvoort was incredible, and to have so many passionate fans engaged in this sport is great to see. While we won’t have as many fans at Monza, I’m sure the atmosphere will still be great and this track always delivers thrilling F1 races, so we look set for another fun weekend of on-track action.”