Mercedes AMG and their customer teams Force India & Williams will all receive their second power unit of the season at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
The rules for 2018 have restricted the available power unit supply to just three engines over the course of the year, and this has resulted in a scheduled rollout of parts for each driver. Additional parts being required result in grid penalties, meaning reliability is essential for a consistently strong season.
Heading to Canada, one of the more demanding circuits of the year on the engine due to its long straights, Mercedes have opted to introduce their second power units of the year. This applies to their own works team drivers of Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas, as well as customer teams Williams & Force India.
Although unconfirmed, it’s also expected the new power units will have some minor upgrades as part of normal development.
“Canada marks the one-third point of the 2018 season.” said Toto Wolff in his race preview. “After six races, we can see that we are in a stronger position in both Championships than we were 12 months ago.
“But we also know that the battle is fiercer, with ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull in the contention for race wins every weekend; there is not a moment to relax.
“We expect a number of teams to take their scheduled second power units this weekend, including all the Mercedes-powered cars, and we are pushing hard to bring more performance to the car as soon as possible.
“It will be a close-fought weekend – as it has been at every race so far this year. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Lewis Hamilton is something of a Montreal specialist with six wins under his belt, with the circuit also suiting the Mercedes chassis considerably more than Monte Carlo did last time out. As a result, Wolff says he’s expecting a stronger weekend:
“Monaco was a weekend of damage limitation for us – we headed there expecting to have the third fastest car and that’s how it proved.”
“In recent years, Mercedes has performed well in Montreal – and it’s one of Lewis [Hamilton’s] most successful circuits, too.
“However, past performances bring no guarantee of success this year. We will need to make sure we get the most from all the tyre compounds, including the Hypersoft, if we want to come out on top this weekend.”
“Montreal is a venue that almost always delivers an action-packed race,” added Wolff. “It’s a circuit where overtaking is relatively straightforward, speeds are high, and the cars are pushed to their limits.
“Likewise, the concrete walls punish any mistakes heavily but the drivers need the confidence to use all of the track in qualifying, when it usually comes down to very small margins around a short lap.”