MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Mercedes have vowed ‘maximum attack’ for the rest of the Formula One season after Lewis Hamilton’s Italian Grand Prix victory sent the Briton 30 points clear in the championship.
“We will give it everything in Singapore and all the remaining races,” team boss Toto Wolff told reporters after Sunday’s race.
“We will turn the whole factories in Brixworth and Brackley upside down to extract performance and go to Singapore with the aim of doing our best.
“Whether that’s good enough to win the race or not, I don’t know yet but the next seven races are going to be maximum attack.”
Ferrari dominated qualifying at Monza and had a clear straightline speed advantage but their home race unravelled at the start and Hamilton savoured a special victory — his sixth of the season.
The Italian team will still be favourites in Singapore in two weeks’ time and Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel expressed confidence there was still time to rein in the champion.
The threat posed by Ferrari, whose challenge is concentrated on Vettel, has led Wolff to consider imposing team orders on Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas but the Finn has been handed a reprieve for now.
“I don’t really like team orders. They are not cool and not good for the sport and not good for either driver,” Wolff told reporters at Monza.
“Lewis doesn’t want to have anything gifted and Valtteri doesn’t want to give anything up. And we are looking at it from race to race.
“We discussed it this morning (on Sunday), various scenarios, and there was no necessity today. We will see what happens in Singapore. I want to push that moment back as far as possible.”
Bottas finished third on Sunday after playing a crucial role in staying out as long as possible before his pitstop, a move that held up Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and gave Hamilton time to close in behind.
Ferrari saw that as team orders but Wolff said the Finn had followed the best strategy for his own race as well as Hamilton’s.
Bottas had been battling Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, ultimately benefiting from a time penalty imposed on the Dutchman to move up onto the podium.
“Valtteri’s strategy not only worked for Lewis obviously, keeping Kimi behind, but also worked for Valtteri. We knew we had to keep him out long because we lost the position already to Verstappen,” he explained.
“We needed to keep him out long to create the largest possible tyre offset at the end of the race. That’s why keeping him out there was also his best shot at the podium.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Nick Mulvenney