Wolff: Mercedes facing 'challenging' weekend, but pushing hard


Toto Wolff believes Mercedes will be put to the test at Monza due to the track's low-downforce characteristics, but the Brackley squad will still be pushing hard to put itself in the mix.

Mercedes left the Netherlands last weekend with another podium finish and a healthy contingent of points, although a frustrated Lewis Hamilton believed that circumstances deprived him of a potential first win in 2023.

But overall, the reigning world champions' race at Zandvoort validated once again the team's continued progress.


"We didn't have the fastest car across the Dutch GP weekend, but the team did a fantastic job putting us in the mix to win the race and we need to ensure we're in that position on a more regular basis," said Wolff.

"We took some risks in Zandvoort and not all of them worked; we exist to fight for victories and will never shy away from making bold decisions.

"We scored good points in our chase for P2 in the championship and it was fun to be back in the fight. Through everyone's hard work, we're edging closer to that first win of the season."

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On paper, Monza's high speed and low-downforce layout is a tricky proposition for Mercedes' draggy W13, as the car's recent performance at Spa – another low-downforce track – clearly demonstrated.

However, Wolff believes that the knowledge since gained by Mercedes' engineers will benefit the team this weekend at Italy's legendary Temple of Speed.

"While Zandvoort suited our car, Monza is likely to be a more challenging weekend owing to the circuit characteristics," said Wolff.

"But we're optimistic we'll be in better shape than other low-downforce tracks like Spa, thanks to our learning since then, and be pushing hard to be fighting for the podium once again."

At Monza, George Russel will be gunning for his seventh podium of the season, while Hamilton has also clinched six top-three finished this year.

In the Drivers' standings, Russel leads Hamilton by 30 points as the pair sit respectively P4 and P6 in the championship.

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