Canadian Grand Prix – Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was frustrated to resort to “damage limitation” in Montreal, one of their most successful venues in the hybrid era.
Despite Mercedes having won three of the four Canadian Grands Prix in the hybrid era, they failed to mount a challenge to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who went on to secure victory and the lead in the drivers’ championship.
Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton could only manage second and fifth respectively, with the latter having a poor qualifying and overheating issues in the race.
Speaking after the race, Wolff called on the team to maximise future opportunities at their historically-favoured tracks.
“I think this is a major wake-up call for every single member of the team,” said Wolff.
“Everybody needs to assess how to improve performance, to optimise those marginal gains that make all the difference.
“We went to Montreal expecting our car to be really strong and we are leaving Montreal seeing that we haven’t been where we thought we should be.”
Mercedes, along with the remaining power unit suppliers, were expected to bring upgraded power units to the Canadian Grand Prix, but a quality issue has delayed this delivery until the French Grand Prix.
However, Wolff added that he did not anticipate any reliability issues from the Mercedes power unit over the rest of the season.
“You need to find the right balance between pushing the development very hard and at the same time keeping reliability.
“This team has been extremely strong in the past at keeping reliability at a high level. That is not something that worries me.
“It is more that we have seen Ferrari has had the stronger car here. Stronger in qualifying, stronger in the race. At no point did we have a real chance of fighting for the win.”
Lewis Hamilton now trails Sebastian Vettel by just one point in the drivers’ championship, whilst Mercedes still hold a seventeen point lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.