4 September 2013
Italian Grand Prix: Mercedes looking to learn lessons from Belgium
Having been beaten in Belgium, Mercedes is looking for a morale-boost at Monza.
Despite having got both drivers into the top four, and consolidated its second place in the constructors' standings, at the Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes believes that it can still benefit from lessons learned at Spa.
Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth successive pole of a promising mid-season spell in the Ardennes, but was powerless to prevent Sebastian Vettel passing him on lap one and disappearing into the distance. Not only was the inability to keep the Red Bull driver behind him a blow to morale, but Vettel's fifth win of the year put further hard yards between himself and the Briton in the drivers' championship.
That frustration aside, however, Mercedes heads to Monza confident that it can further cement its position as chief rival to the Milton Keynes team, having tried to understand where it fell short in Belgium.
“We scored a good team result at the last race, with third and fourth places, [but] we hope to see an improvement in race pace after the lessons we learned over the race weekend,” Toto Wolff commented, while team principal Ross Brawn confirmed that he too was 'pleased with the performance and the consolidation of our current second place in the constructors' championship'.
“We weren't quite in the position to fight for the win, but we will keep pushing hard to close that gap and keep fighting,” Brawn continued.
Monza's unique nature requires a special low-downforce aerodynamic package to make the most of a high-speed layout which places great importance on the strength of the engine, and Mercedes has revealed that it intends to will use a 'refined version' of the low-drag package introduced at Spa.
Wolff, meanwhile, emphasised the role of both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the Belgian race, the pair crossing the line third and fourth behind Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
“[The Belgian result] underlined one of the team's strengths this year: our drivers,” Wolff insisted, “As their performances this season have shown, Lewis and Nico are probably the most closely matched and balanced driver pairing in F1. Their combination of speed and consistency has taken Mercedes to second place in the constructors' championship and our clear target is to consolidate this position over the coming races.”
Hamilton heads to Italy as defending race champion, having triumphed there with McLaren a year ago, and is confident of another good showing this weekend.
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