F1: Mercedes expect Monza to be better for them than Spa
Mercedes expect to fare better at Italy’s high-speed Monza circuit this weekend than at Spa-Francorchamps in August, but not as strongly as in last Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
Seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton described qualifying for the high-speed Belgian Grand Prix as a ‘kick in the teeth’ after a lap 1.8 seconds slower than Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen.
Reigning champions Mercedes, yet to win this season, were much more competitive at tighter Zandvoort, with Hamilton leading for a while and George Russell finishing second to Verstappen.
Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said on Wednesday the car’s aerodynamics for Monza would be very similar to those at Spa.
“We are optimistic that some of the specific problems we had in Spa over the bumps shouldn’t affect us,” he said in a weekend debrief.
“So we think we can get the car in a better working window. However, the Red Bull does look very efficient, it’s fast on the straights and it’s quick in the corners and those problems seem bigger for us when we go to the low downforce tracks.
“It is difficult to say exactly where we will be but probably not as strong as we were in Zandvoort but hopefully nowhere near as difficult as it was in Spa.”
Shovlin said Zandvoort had been one of the first races this season where Mercedes had scenarios where they could have won a race on merit.
Verstappen has won 10 of 15 races this season and leads the championship by 109 points with seven rounds remaining.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.