Wolff: Ferrari's race struggles give Mercedes hope in Monza
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says all is not lost for the Silver Arrows at the Italian Grand Prix, despite expectations that Ferrari will have the car to beat around Monza.
While the SF90 has flattered to deceive for much of the year, its straight-line prowess has never been in doubt and came to the fore last weekend in Belgium to help Charles Leclerc secure a maiden grand prix win on one of the most power-sensitive tracks in F1.
Next up is probably the most power-hungry, the Scuderia's home race at Monza, where around three quarters of the lap is taken at full throttle.
While that is likely to see Ferrari dominate qualifying, Wolff says the red cars' recent performances on race day still give Mercedes hope of spoiling the home party yet again for a Ferrari team winless at Monza since 2010.
"From a performance perspective, our weekend in Spa gave us plenty to work on," Wolff said.
"We were out-qualified and, while our race pace looked promising, we didn't manage to take the win.
"However, given our performance in Belgium last year, it felt like we had also made a step forward.
"We don't have the fastest car in a straight line this year but we made some progress with regards to the slow-speed corners and the way our car handles the tyres. So there are positives to take away from Spa as well.
"We don't expect the Italian Grand Prix to be an easy weekend. Monza is 'the' power circuit in F1, that rewards high power and low drag.
"While we have had the fastest overall package on the grid this season, it's not ideal for a track where straight line speed is a key performance differentiator.
"However, we've also seen that the Ferraris look mighty at high-speed tracks on Saturdays, but don't look quite as strong on Sundays - and that's when the points are won.
"We will not be favourites in Italy, but we will do everything we can to take the fight to the red team this weekend. "
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