Mercedes: No clear performance pattern anymore

Mercedes believes its inability to win the Canadian Grand Prix shows there is no longer a clear performance pattern among Formula 1's top teams.

Mercedes: No clear performance pattern anymore
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, leads Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL33
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 pit stop
Toto Wolff, Executive Director (Business), Mercedes AMG
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes won the previous three races in Montreal and looked the favourite for a fourth straight win last weekend.

However, Hamilton struggled for pace and wound up fifth, with teammate Valtteri Bottas a distant second behind Ferrari's race winner Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: "We came to Montreal expecting our car to be really strong and we are leaving seeing we haven't been where we thought we should be.

"That's why there is not the usual pattern, the historic pattern of cars being strong on certain circuits and then weak on others.

"I still think we are not pretty good in Monaco or Singapore, that may be the odd outlier, but you need to expect people to be strong everywhere."

Wolff said that the loss of that kind of trend was "the new reality" of a tight fight with Ferrari and Red Bull, which beat a Mercedes on merit for a second straight race.

"Somehow this year the margins have become so tight – five cars within a tenth," said Wolff.

"This is why this year's championship is going to be decided by the ones who make the least mistakes and brings the best development onto the engine on every single weekend and that is the new reality.

"It's a three-way fight, six cars can win races. You can't take anything for granted.

"You can't come to Montreal and think it's going to be a walk in the park because that's the kind of wake-up call you get."

Wolff pointed out that Mercedes should have won in Australia, where it was more competitive than it was in 2017, and dominated in Spain after being bested by Ferrari last season.

He said these were more examples of the lack of a pattern, adding it "makes the championship exciting, because you don't know what to expect".

"You have to come to the weekend, all your preparation work has to be spot on," said Wolff.

"There's no time to be lost in terms of preparation on the Friday because it's going to come and bite you."

Mercedes failed to bring its second-specification of engine to Canada after a last-minute reliability scare on the dyno.

Wolff said he was the "opposite of confident" that everything is sorted and Mercedes would immediately resume its previous form, reiterating that it was "a major wake-up call for every single member of the team".

Pressed on the upgraded engine, Wolff said: "I don't want to say too much because we were expecting to have the engine here and then on the last long run we spotted a potential issue.

"I'd rather have it in the car on Friday morning, run it without problems, and then confirm it."

shares
comments
Verstappen silenced "stupid critics" with Canada display - Red Bull

Previous article

Verstappen silenced "stupid critics" with Canada display - Red Bull

Next article

Mercedes: We ran old engines as hard as possible in Montreal

Mercedes: We ran old engines as hard as possible in Montreal
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021