Mercedes attacked Leclerc with Spec-3 at full power

Date published: September 11 2019 - Shahida Jacobs

Toto Wolff reaction

There was “no holding back” from Mercedes with regards to the engine modes at Monza despite recent problems with the Spec-3 power unit, according to team principal Toto Wolff.

Mercedes’ upgraded engine first took to the track at the Belgian Grand Prix, but Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was forced to switch back to the Spec-2 power unit on the Saturday after problems in FP2.

Then on Saturday, Robert Kubica of Williams also suffered an engine failure and reverted to the older power unit.

The German manufacturer admitted ahead of the Italian Grand Prix that they were not quite “totally clear” what happened at Spa, but were confident it would not be an issue at Monza.

However, on race day Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were not able to keep up with Ferarri’s Charles Leclerc, leading to suggestions that Merc might have held back.

Asked by if the team had had to operate its engine more conservatively, Wolff replied: “No, we were not holding back on engine modes any more.

“We ran the engine as planned. I’m really happy we made it to the end, with all the burnt Phase 3s.”

Wolff, though, admits that there is a bit of a gap that they need to close in terms of straightline speed.

“We have a pretty good understanding I would say,” he added. “And we have to close the gap.

“Obviously an understanding is a good first step to then try to close the gap. But we’ve got Monza out of the way. Now, it’s about looking ahead.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.