Mercedes package 'not ideal' for Monza - Wolff

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Mercedes AMG F1 boss Toto Wolff believes another challenging weekend sits ahead for the Silver Arrows squad as Monza's layout will cater to the qualities of Ferrari's SF90.

Never one to become complacent, Wolff had warned before the Belgian Grand Prix of Ferrari's potential superiority at Spa, and the Austrian's cause for concern turned out to be fully justified as the Scuderia and Charles Leclerc took top spoils at the Ardennes track.

Ahead of Ferrari's home race next weekend at Monza, Wolff fired off another cautioning message.

"From a performance perspective, our weekend in Spa gave us plenty to work on," Wolff said.

"We were out-qualified and, while our race pace looked promising, we didn't manage to take the win.

"We don't have the fastest car in a straight line this year, but we made some progress with regards to the slow-speed corners and the way our car handles the tyres.

"So, there are positives to take away from Spa as well.

"We don't expect the Italian Grand Prix to be an easy weekend," he admitted. "Monza is 'the' power circuit in F1, that rewards high power and low drag.

"While we have had the fastest overall package on the grid this season, it's not ideal for a track where straight line speed is a key performance differentiator."

Wolff also noted Ferrari's propensity to outperform in qualifying and struggle on race day, at least on high-speed venues.

"We've seen that the Ferraris look mighty at high-speed tracks on Saturdays, but don't look quite as strong on Sundays - and that's when the points are won.

"We will not be favourites in Italy, but we will do everything we can to take the fight to the red team this weekend.

"Monza is a very special event thanks to the historic track and the fantastic atmosphere; you don't have to be a Ferrari fan to appreciate the great passion of the tifosi.

"They might be rooting for a different team but ultimately they feel the same love for racing that drives us all.

"We look forward to an interesting weekend in Italy to mark the end of this year's European season."

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