RACE DEBRIEF

    Toto Wolff is hopeful that Mercedes can push Ferrari for the runner-up spot in the 2022 constructors’ standings after “maximising” their Italian Grand Prix points haul “on a track that doesn’t suit us”.

    Lewis Hamilton and George Russell started the Monza weekend within reach of the pace-setting Ferrari and Red Bull cars but dropped back as practice wore on and ended qualifying almost one-and-a-half seconds off pole position.

    On race day, however, Russell capitalised on a host of grid penalties to convert a front-row start into another podium finish, while Hamilton fought his way through the field from P19 to claim fifth – adding important points to Mercedes’s tally.

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    “I think you [can] see that we are on a track that doesn’t suit us, [and] we are clearly third on the road, so [positions] three and five is probably the maximum [result],” Wolff told Sky Sports F1, as he reflected on the weekend.

    As for Hamilton’s drive from the back of the grid, he added: “It was enjoyable. At the beginning, it looked like [he was] a little bit stuck, but once the tyres came together, he was very quick.”

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    Russell claimed his seventh podium finish of the season at Monza while Hamilton charged up the order from P19 to P5

    Having recovered plenty of lost ground after their early-season struggles, and with six races left to run, Mercedes are just 35 points down on second-placed Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.

    With tracks coming up that should be better suited to their W13, Wolff is excited to see whether his team can overhaul the Scuderia during the final stages of the season.

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    "I think it’s all to play [for]. We just need to do the best every single weekend and see whether we come out second," Wolff continued.

    Asked if P2 would ‘soften the blow’ of an otherwise difficult campaign, he said: "Maybe a bit, but there [are] more blows that we are ending up 30 seconds behind the leader, and that is the gap that we need to catch up."

    2022

    The top three teams in the standings post-Monza

    POSITION POINTS
    1 Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing 545
    2 Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari 406
    3 Mercedes Mercedes Mercedes 371