Hamilton, Russell, Wolff and Shovlin comment on the Italian GP

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Mercedes-Benz AG

Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Toto Wolff and Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin give their comments on the Italian Grand Prix.

Solid P5 and P6 finishes for the team in Monza, on a day when we had the third-fastest car in the field behind Red Bull and Ferrari

  • George made a strong start to run P4 for the early part of the race, defending strongly from Perez until eventually ceding position to the faster Red Bull.
  • George pitted on lap 19, incurring a five-second penalty when re-joining the race, but a strong, well-managed stint meant it cost him no positions.
  • Lewis ran an offset strategy by starting on the Hard tyre, running longer than most runners before pitting to Medium tyres just after half distance.
  • Rejoining in P10, he was able to quickly pass Alonso, then close in on the battle between Albon and the two McLaren drivers.
  • Minor contact with Piastri on lap 41 meant he incurred a five-second penalty, but the tyre offset meant he was able to pass Norris and Albon on track for P6, then build the necessary gap to maintain his position in the final standings.
  • The team scored 18 points today and now holds a 45-point advantage over Ferrari, who climbed to P3 in the constructors’ championship today.

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George Russell

Fifth place was probably the maximum today and I think we’d have taken that result before the weekend. We’ve outpaced McLaren and Aston Martin here, but unfortunately Ferrari were just a step ahead of us here – and then Red Bull out front. They were so fast in the high-speed corners today, I just couldn’t keep Perez behind any longer than I did in the early laps. It was a tough race because the degradation was high, but the long pit-stop loss just means that a two-stop strategy isn’t really competitive; that means a lot of time in DRS, but it’s not easy to overtake with such small pace differences between cars. I’m looking forward to heading to Singapore next. We were competitive there last year and I think that our car will be better suited to that circuit, so hopefully we can fight a bit closer to the front than we managed here.

Lewis Hamilton

Every point and position that we are getting through these races are incredibly hard-fought. We started on the hard tyre today and it was nice to be offset but difficult at the beginning and not so easy to follow in the DRS train. I spent a lot of laps following the McLarens, so I knew that I had slightly more pace than them in the first stint, and hoped I could get them on the second one. There was a big gap to catch after the stop, and I was worried my tyres would go off when I caught them, but fortunately theirs did the same. I cleared Alonso immediately after the stop, which opened things up and let me close them down; but the incident with Piastri was just unfortunate. I misjudged the gap that I had and it was totally my fault – I went and apologised to him straight after. So I think we maximised today, and now I’m looking forward to Singapore in ten days’ time.



Toto Wolff

That was a pretty incident-filled race for us and we maximised the points that were in there today. But like always, we need to be careful not to be too happy about finishing fifth and sixth. Looking back at them, I think both penalties for the drivers were fair, but fortunately they both did a great job to make sure they didn’t have any consequence for the finishing positions; they both just took it on the chin, got their heads down and kept on racing. We know that these low-downforce circuits are not our strong suit, and in fact I think we have seen progress over the season from Baku to Spa to here. The next race is Singapore, so back to high downforce and coming towards our direction a little it more. It will be important for us to maximise that opportunity when it comes.

Andrew Shovlin

We were the third quickest team today so fifth and sixth was the best we could achieve. The car just doesn’t have the pace of the Ferrari at this downforce level. Fortunately, on normal tracks the fight is much closer but today was all about damage limitation and the team and drivers did a good job to minimise our points loss in the constructors’ championship. The hot conditions made it tricky with the tyres and if you were pushing to defend or attack, the one stop became quite marginal. We were expecting a tough race for the tyres, normally our car is quite kind to its rear tyres but since Friday we’ve struggled to keep the temperatures down, we’re just sliding around a little too much. Saying that, we at least had the pace and straight-line speed to gain a few places at the end with Lewis. We’ve been some way off threatening the podium positions here so we’re looking forward to Singapore where hopefully we’ll be able to fight for the bigger points positions.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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