Toto Wolff won't rule out Mercedes taking risks in an attempt to claw their way up the grid in the F1 Monaco GP, but he made sure to warn his drivers that doesn't apply to how they should drive during the race.
For the first time this season we have a team other than Mercedes or Red Bull on pole, with Ferrari and Charles Leclerc starting in P1 despite a late crash that brought out the red flag. Max Verstappen will start second and Valtteri Bottas had to settle for third, while Lewis Hamilton was surprisingly off the pace, finishing in seventh.
Given how tough it is to pass in Monaco, Wolff knows Mercedes will have to take a gamble or two if they want to have a good race, and while he is willing to do that in terms of strategy, he doesn't want his drivers to take unnecessary risks.
"Driving wise, no, because P7 still scores you points," Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media when asked if Mercedes can take risks on Sunday. "You'd rather have six points than none, if Max wins the race or finishes second that's still a large enough gap.
"So driving wise no but in terms of strategy, we can take risks. They are obviously limited due to the traffic behind us, but I think we have a car that is quicker than P7."
Leclerc's crash at the end of qualifying evoked memories of Michael Schumacher's famous incident back in 2006 when he parked his Ferrari at the final hairpin in an attempt to keep his grip on pole.
While Wolff doesn't believe Leclerc would purposefully send his car into the barriers, he couldn't help but take a jab at the situation.
"With all the incidents that we have seen in the past in Monaco, only the driver will ever know what exactly happened," Wolff added. "In that case, I doubt that Charles would make himself detonate into the railing which could cause even more damage to his car, and gearbox damage is possible. It is what it is. It certainly is a good story that Charles is on pole in Monaco.
"It's even better that Charles is on pole and not Max, but I don't want to go that far."