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Wolff expecting another 'dog fight' with Ferrari at Monza

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, Belgian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that his team's victory over Ferrari last weekend at Spa had been a very hard-fought and close affair.

And he added that the next race, SUnday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, will likely be a similarly tough challenge.

"We said before Spa that it's dangerous to make assumptions this year," he said on Wednesday. "And the race weekend demonstrated why that's the case.

"It was a dog fight with Ferrari and, although we came out on top, we did so by a small margin only.

"We can expect the same kind of close battle at every race this year," he added. "There will be no races where it is a walk in the park .

"Our focus is simply on extracting every possible point from each race in succession, beginning this weekend in Monza.

"Monza is a circuit that has been good to us in recent years," he commented. "It rewards low drag and peak power, both of which are among the strengths of our package.

"But braking stability and low-speed grip are also crucial through the chicanes, and these are areas where Ferrari has held an advantage.

"The team that finds the best overall compromise will come out on top."

The close battle with Ferrari means that the team won't be able to divert its technical development to the 2018 campaign any time soon.

"This is often the time of year when thoughts turn to the following season. But our mission is clear: to win before and after a major regulation change.

"Nobody said it would be easy and it is stretching our limits in every direction," he conceded.

"We are still pushing hard with our development to squeeze every last bit of performance from the W08.

"We are ready for an epic battle all the way to the finish line in Abu Dhabi,' said Wolff. "The pendulum will swing again a number of times before Abu Dhabi, the season so far has shown us this much."

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