Mercedes optimistic of stronger Italian GP race pace after tweaking W04 package
Hamilton had feared Mercedes were "stuck with" exact Spa package
By James Galloway. Last Updated: September 5, 2013 10:02am
Mercedes: Couldn't match Red Bull or Ferrari over the longer distance at Spa
Mercedes are hopeful they will be able to produce a more competitive race performance at the Italian GP after refining their low-drag package for Monza.
Although straight-line speeds had long been considered Mercedes' strength even before their big step forward in overall performance this year, the team have been defeated by both Red Bull and Ferrari at the two tracks that have required the lowest-downforce settings during the season so far, Canada and Belgium.
Despite starting on pole for the fourth consecutive race last time out at Spa, Lewis Hamilton finished 27 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel and admitted to reporters afterwards that he feared that Mercedes were now "stuck with" the same wing package for Monza.
However, the team have now confirmed that they have used the two-week break between Belgium and Italy to tweak their package for this weekend.
"In Monza, we will use a refined version of the low-drag package introduced at Spa," the team's Executive Director Toto Wolff revealed.
"We hope to see an improvement in race pace after the lessons we learned over the race weekend in Belgium."
Hamilton himself, meanwhile, heads to Monza aiming to become the first driver to win the race in consecutive years since Damon Hill for Williams in 1993-94, the 2008 World Champion having dominated last year's event for former team McLaren.
Should he do so he would also become the first man since another Briton, Sir Stirling Moss, to achieve the feat with different teams and the man himself is hopeful of continuing Mercedes' recent good momentum.
"My win in Italy last year was the first of my career at this circuit and it was a great feeling," Hamilton said.
"We had a strong weekend in Belgium with a good team result and that's what we need to keep doing in the second half of the season."