be_ixf;ym_202201 d_28; ct_100
Friday images from the 2017 Italian Grand Prix

F1: Silver Arrows go behind enemy lines in Italy

Sep 012017

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team will step deep into their enemy's heartland this weekend racing into the Italian Grand Prix at Monza - but that does not worry the Silver Arrows duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

In fact Lewis has been enjoying the adulation of the loyal Ferrari fan base – known as the Tifosi - for some time as they have been impressed by his raw speed and brilliant driving. And, despite being locked in a title fight with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel with the two separated by just seven points, Lewis is expecting to have plenty of supporters of his own at the track this weekend.

"I have felt in the past like I have been in the enemy's back garden but in the last four or five years I have had such a great welcome here, which is much appreciated. I love it here. The track is awesome and you see so many fans. Italy holds some incredible passion for motor racing and they don't build circuits like this anymore. There is so much character here and some special corners.


"If it was a battle of how much support you have, I don't have any problems. My level of support has grown here over the past five years. My and my fans have that side covered! My ultimate goal is to win and put a dent in that lead he has had all season.


"He's had that smile on his face all season being that he's had that lead, so I am looking forward to turning that upside down."


Meanwhile, Valtteri, who was disappointed to finish fifth last out in the Belgian GP at Spa, is looking forward to scoring some good points this weekend, determined to regain the form which saw the Finn score two wins and eight podiums in the first half of the season.

"It was a grey weekend in Spa and not the one I was hoping for after a great few races, but it was just one bad race. We did not find any issue with the car or why I was slow for the weekend, so I have no idea and I have no answers for that.


"We've had a few meetings but Spa is not behind us and I am starting a fresh new weekend and I am looking forward. This is a special race. Some passionate fans, which is really cool. I like the track; it is very different from many of the others. It is always a nice place to be and there is a lot of history."


The action gets going in earnest with lights out of the 87th edition of the Italian Grand Prix at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale di Monza at 2pm CET on Sunday 3rd September.