RACE DEBRIEF

    Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has expressed further optimism that the Silver Arrows can get a race win under their belt before the 2022 season concludes, having come close to victory last time out in the Netherlands.

    With the W13 displaying strong pace at the tight and twisty Zandvoort circuit, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were both in contention on race day, keeping Max Verstappen and Red Bull honest on an alternate tyre strategy.

    READ MORE: Verstappen, Hamilton, Sainz and more receive engine and gearbox grid penalties at Monza

    However, after jumping Verstappen during a late Safety Car period – while the majority of the field pitted for fresh tyres – Hamilton lost out at the restart and tumbled down the order to P4, behind the Dutchman, team mate Russell and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

    Although this meant missing out on a potential first win of the campaign, Wolff and Mercedes took plenty of encouragement from their Dutch Grand Prix showing, and hope one of the remaining seven races will yield the ultimate prize.

    "We didn’t have the fastest car across the Dutch GP weekend, but the team did a fantastic job putting us in the mix to win the race and we need to ensure we’re in that position on a more regular basis," said Wolff, speaking ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

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    Hamilton and Russell were on fine form at the Dutch Grand Prix

    "We took some risks in Zandvoort and not all of them worked; we exist to fight for victories and will never shy away from making bold decisions.

    "We scored good points in our chase for P2 in the championship and it was fun to be back in the fight. Through everyone’s hard work, we’re edging closer to that first win of the season."

    READ MORE: Mercedes explain why Italian GP will be 'hopefully nowhere near as difficult' as Spa

    Wolff doubts Mercedes will be as competitive at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, given the high-speed demands of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, but sees no reason why his drivers cannot add to their podium tallies.

    "While Zandvoort suited our car, Monza is likely to be a more challenging weekend owing to the circuit characteristics," he continued.

    "But we’re optimistic we’ll be in better shape than at other low-downforce tracks like Spa, thanks to our learning since then, and [we'll] be pushing hard to be fighting for the podium once again."

    Hamilton competing for a win this weekend, meanwhile, looks unlikely, after Mercedes equipped him with a new power unit, relegating him to a back-of-the-grid start.