Toto Wolff wary of Italian GP after Lewis Hamilton warning

Lewis Hamilton believes a podium was possible at Zandvoort, if it wasn't for the team's blunder.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is more than aware that this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix is at venue which is the “complete opposite” of Zandvoort, where the Silver Arrows showed good pace last weekend.

Had Mercedes gotten their strategy correct, then the likelihood is that they would’ve left the Dutch Grand Prix with a podium.

The W14 actually boasted very good speed throughout the weekend, only to be outdone by the elements and a questionable strategy.

Even Lewis Hamilton, who qualified 13th, had the pace for a podium, with the seven-time World Champion believing that Mercedes “would’ve been challenging” for victory if they got a early race decision correct.

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At the end of the first lap, sudden heavy rain saw several drivers pit for Intermediates, but not Hamilton or George Russell.

The Silver Arrows wanted the two drivers to try and brave the conditions on their slick tyres, something which proved to be the wrong decision.

Both drivers were eventually called into the pits for the Intermediates, a decision which came too late.

Hamilton ended up dropping right to the back as a result, making his recovery to sixth quite impressive.

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He’s convinced that Mercedes should’ve pitted both drivers instantly and that they lost a podium at the very least.

“It didn’t start off that well, but I’m pretty happy with the drive that I did to get back into the points and get sixth,” Hamilton said.

“It could have been higher for sure, if we made the right decision at the end of the day.

“We should have pitted [straight away] but we didn’t. We paid the price for that, and we did our best to come back.

“I feel like today was redemption, in the sense of it was terrible yesterday. I managed to dial the car in a bit better today and overtook a bunch of people.

“To start 13th, I was dead last at one point, to get back up to sixth, I’m happy with that. I think today I had the pace [for the podium]. I was on pace with Max in the race, but we were just out of position.

“I got past the McLaren for example which on this track was not easy to do. I was quicker than Sainz at the end just needed DRS. I think we would’ve been challenging Max if I’m really honest. Particularly when we got to the dry, pace wise, we weren’t terribly far off.”

Wolff was just as frustrated as Hamilton at the conclusion of the Dutch GP, with the Austrian recognising that the W14 had “potential”.

Not making the most of the car was “annoying” for Wolff, who recognises that the high-speed Monza is a completely different type of track to Zandvoort.

With Mercedes’ top-speed not being the best, the general expectation is that this weekend will be a difficult one for the Brackley-based team.

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“Zandvoort was a frustrating weekend. There was potential, but we failed to capitalise on it. We got the call wrong with the switch to Intermediates and that put us on the back foot,” Wolff said.

“From there, it was about trying to salvage what we could. Both drivers recovered well, but the final sting in the tail was the puncture for George.

“The missed opportunities are annoying, but weekends like this only fire us up to bounce back even stronger.

“We’ve got plenty of learnings to take into the next race. Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait for it. Monza’s track characteristics are the complete opposite to Zandvoort, so we’ll see how we get on.

“It’s also sure to be another spectacular atmosphere this weekend.”