Formula One: Italian Grand Prix - Preview.
Lewis Hamilton: Spa was a really positive weekend for me. I felt comfortable right the way through and it was great to finally get another win at one of the real classic F1 circuits. Now, we head to another of those in Monza. It’s an awesome track – so fast and with some of the most passionate fans you’ll see anywhere in the world. I was actually at this circuit with Sir Stirling Moss earlier this year, driving the banking in his old Mercedes W 196, which was just awesome. Having that taste of what it was like for those guys back in the day really gives you a feel for the history of this place and why it became so legendary.
It’s still a big challenge today, too. Fast, but really technical at the same time with some heavy braking and big kerbs to ride for the best line. Racing in Italy brings back a lot of good memories for me and I’d love to add to those this weekend, so that’s the aim.
All ingredients in place.
Nico Rosberg: The race in Spa was definitely disappointing. My start was not good so I need to work on that and also on finding those extra tenths in qualifying to get back on top there. I know I have the car underneath me to get pole and the win every time with this incredible machine the team have built, so nothing less will do. Monza is next and I can’t wait to try out this season’s Silver Arrow there. I’m sure it will suit our car and it’s a circuit I really enjoy, so all the ingredients are there for a strong weekend. I’m sure the Tifosi will want a red car to be on the top step but, whatever the result, you know they will create an unbelievable atmosphere. Standing on the podium last year was a great experience and the target is to be one step higher this time around.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: It was a fantastic performance from the entire team in Spa. We brought a competitive package to the car, the crew were flawless and both Lewis and Nico produced strong drives. The result was particularly satisfying after an eventful day on Friday, where the team did well to react to a challenging situation. A positive weekend meant that we left Belgium with our Championship position significantly strengthened – but the fortunes of our rivals also played a part in that and the outcome of the race overall was a reminder that nothing can be taken for granted. Top results in this sport are far more easily lost than gained – and one bad weekend can produce a big swing in points. We can be proud of what we have achieved so far this season but the battle is by no means won.
A true classic.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): Monza is one of the true classics of the sport – a fantastic race track with a lot of heritage. With the old banking still in place, there is nowhere better to get a real impression of how Formula One used to be in the early days. The circuit itself is quite unique – very high speed, with a special minimum drag aerodynamic package required and significant demand placed on the engine. The brakes, too, are worked hard here, with three big stops around the lap. Kerbs are also a factor, with a good suspension setup crucial to allow the drivers to ride the kerbs and find time in the first sector particularly. The crowds are spectacular – certainly one of the most enthusiastic of the year – although, they are mostly cheering for another team! We hope for a strong performance in Monza. However, you can never be certain at a track with such unique characteristics.