Mercedes were expected to be strong in Montreal. But they leave Canada frustrated to have been systematically outperformed by their F1 rivals Ferrari.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has spoken up regarding Ferrari’s dominant win at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal has traditionally been a strong circuit for Mercedes due to the nature of the power-sensitive Circuit Gilles Villeneuve which Mercedes managed to take advantage of.
Lewis Hamilton came out victorious in the past three years, however, the decision to delay the engine upgrade until the upcoming race in France appeared to the major reason as to why Hamilton could only finish fifth behind Vettel, team-mate Valtteri Bottas and both Red Bulls.
Sebastian Vettel ended up snatching pole from Valtteri Bottas on Saturday and then turned in a comfortable performance to win the Grand Prix on Sunday, taking the championship lead from Lewis Hamilton in the process.
“There’s not really a pattern that you can see,” he said. “Normally, on some tracks, we were dominant and then others we struggled. Then somehow this year, the margins have become so tight that if you look at the fastest lap, there are five cars within a tenth [of a second].
“This is why this year’s world championship will be decided by the team who makes the least mistakes, brings the best development on the engine every single weekend. That is the new reality. Six cars can win races. It’s a three-way fight.
“You can’t take anything for granted and think it will be a walk in the park. That’s the kind of wake-up call you get.”
Wolff admits he was expecting Mercedes to be the team to beat in Canada despite Ferrari showing further progress with its power unit this season.
“We were coming to Montreal expecting our car to be really strong and we’re leaving Montreal seeing we haven’t been where we thought we should be and that is why what I said before. There is not the historic pattern of cars strong on certain circuits and weak on others.
“I still think we’re not pretty good in Monaco and Singapore. They are the outliers, but you have to expect everyone to be strong everywhere.”
Wolff was puzzled by the fact Mercedes never looked like putting Vettel under pressure during the Grand Prix.
When asked whether or not he was worried that errors could start creeping in as a result of an intense fight, he said: “I think you need to get the right balance between pushing development very hard, adding performance to the car and at the same time keeping reliability.
“This team has been extremely strong in the past, keeping the reliability at a high level. That is not the part that worries me. It is more than we have seen today a Ferrari that has been the stronger car, stronger in qualifying, stronger in the race, and at no time did we have a real chance to fight for the win.”