Toto Wolff says Ferrari’s race pace surprised Mercedes by being below expectations and feels a bigger performance gap has grown between the two manufacturers after the Italian Grand Prix.

Despite Kimi Raikkonen getting past Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap, the Mercedes driver stormed back at the start of lap two in the blast to turn one and quickly gapped the Ferraris while making quick work of passing Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll.

With Lewis Hamilton enjoying a largely trouble-free drive to victory Bottas held station in second as the Mercedes pair finished half a minute up the road to Sebastian Vettel in third place.

Speaking after the Monza race, Wolff admitted Mercedes’ race simulations saw Ferrari finishing much closer and having seen a similar result at Spa, despite the late safety car clouding the result, the Mercedes boss believes while his team has made a jump forward with its W08 Ferrari may have slipped backwards.

“For me, it looks like this weekend Ferrari has made a step back somehow,” Wolff said. “I think we were very solid, but also they haven’t performed in the way everybody expected.

“Red Bull started from the back of the grid and almost finished P3, there is just something that is out of sync here, so I can understand that they are upset about it. Our analysis this morning, based on our pace on Friday, we thought they would be closer considering their Spa performance.”

Thanks to Mercedes third one-two of the 2017 campaign it has extended its lead in the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship to 62 points over Ferrari.


Loading Comments...