The 2016 Formula One World Championship season continues this weekend with Round 14, the Italian Grand Prix, from the Autodromo Nazionale Monza
2016 Italian Grand Prix - Preview - MERCEDES AMG Petronas Team:
Lewis: "It's game on for me now"
Nico: "I'm taking every race like a cup final"
Toto: "We're set for an entertaining end of the year"
Paddy: "Monza is always a fantastic weekend for fans"
Spa was about as good as damage limitation can get, I think! It was a fantastic result for me and for the team. The guys deserved it so much after all that hard work, so I was massively pleased for them and proud of what we achieved together. Now we go to Monza - a track I know well from so many racing categories throughout my career and one it's impossible not to love. The speed, the history, the atmosphere... it's just so iconic in every way. Standing on that amazing podium, looking out over a sea of fans on the straight, has to be up there as of the most incredible experiences a sportsman can have. I had a perfect weekend on track there last year. If I can repeat that it would be amazing but we'll see how we look when we get there. It's game on for me now with the penalties out of the way and fresh engines ready to use. I can't wait to get back out there.
It's great to add a classic circuit like Spa to the list of wins. It wasn't a straightforward weekend for us - but everybody did a fantastic job and the car kept improving with every session, so hopefully that puts us on a good curve as we head to another legendary track in Monza. This is a race I really enjoy and one I'd really love to master. The tifosi create such an incredible atmosphere every single time, no matter who wins the race. Last year obviously didn't end so well for me there, so I'm hoping for a bit more luck and a little less fire this time... I'm really enjoying the battle out there right now. We've got several cars in the mix now which is exciting for us and also the fans. For me, I'm taking every race like a cup final. It's great to know you have the team and the car to just go out there and lay it on the line. I can't wait to make our Silver Arrow fly at Monza.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
We go to Monza in high spirits after a positive weekend by all measures in Spa. Nico drove a perfect race, while a combination of skilled driving and decisive strategy calls meant taking the penalty for Lewis turned out to be far less detrimental than we could even have dared to hope. On top of that, the tremendous job by the guys in the garage proved how strong we are as a unit. They were faultless, with no incident whatsoever on the engines. We're entering a busy final phase of the season, so to see that level of performance in such tough circumstances is encouraging for the road ahead. Eight races remain, with just nine points separating our drivers now. It has been bouncing in both directions - and my gut feeling is we will go long into the season before we see who comes out on top. On top of that, we have already seen our opposition come back stronger after the break - even if luck was not on their side at the last race. If things continue as they have been, we're set for an entertaining end to the year.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
It seems like yesterday we were in Spa! We were very happy to come out with such a great result in what proved to be a difficult race from a tyre management point of view - quite apart from the challenge of getting one car from the back of the grid to the podium! It was a great start to the second half of the season which puts us in a strong position heading to Monza - another classic, unusual circuit with quite specific demands on the car. The track is characterised by high power sensitivity, heavy demands on brakes and a low-drag configuration requiring a special rear wing. This race sees the same tyre compound allocation as Spa - the Medium, Soft and SuperSoft. However, the energy put through the tyres is notably less at this circuit, so we should see a different situation to the last race from that perspective. Monza is always a fantastic weekend for fans. The tifosi are world famous for their passion for the sport and there's nothing quite like the atmosphere of the crowd gathered under that unique podium. Although they're normally cheering for the red team, above all they love a good race - so we'll aim to provide just that.
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