Mercedes: No clear F1 performance pattern between top three 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 F1 performance pattern between top three anymore

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

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

"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," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

"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 bring 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 that 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 2018 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 stopped 'stupid critics' with Canada performance - Marko
Previous article

Verstappen stopped 'stupid critics' with Canada performance - Marko

Next article

How Ferrari turned the tables on Mercedes at the 2018 Canadian GP

How Ferrari turned the tables on Mercedes at the 2018 Canadian GP
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing Plus

Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing

OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But MARK GALLAGHER thinks this is highly unlikely

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022