Wolff: Mercedes teams get updated Power Units for Montreal

Mercedes knew they would be hardpressed at the Monaco Grand Prix at a venue which was never going to suit their car which is more comfortable having its legs stretched than reigned in on the narrow confines of the harbourside circuit.

Heading to Montreal Silver Arrows team chief has revealed that, like their rivals, they will be unleashing the second update of the current power unit as they target the top step of the podium at a venue that has been knind to them over the years.

Wolff said in his preview of his weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, “Canada marks the one-third point of the 2018 season. 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 more fierce, 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.

Looking back on the weekend in Monte-Carlo, where Lewis Hamilton finished third and teammate Valtteri Bottas fifth, Wolff said, “Monaco was a weekend of damage limitation for us – and we delivered on that objective with solid finishes for both drivers. We headed there expecting to have the third fastest car and that’s how it proved.”

“In that context, our results were satisfactory – but we don’t want to use the phrase “damage limitation” too many times this year. There has been lots of comment since the race about how interesting it proved – or otherwise.”

“I think it’s something we need to keep in proportion: sometimes football matches end nil-nil, sometimes they are six goals thrillers. It’s all part of the ebb and flow of a sporting season.

“Montreal is a venue that almost always delivers an action-packed race. 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.”

“In recent years, Mercedes has performed well in Montreal – and it’s one of Lewis’ 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,” added Wolff.

Montreal has been a happy hunting ground for the team’s reigning world champion Hamilton who has won the race six times in: 2007, 2010 and 2012 as well as a hat-trick of wins from 2015, 2016 and 2017 and gunning for four in a row.

A year ago the Briton matched Ayrton’s Senna’s pole position record after claiming the top spot in qualifying at Ile Notre Dame.

No other driver of this current generation has won at the venue more than once, although title challengers Sebastian Vettel and Ricciardo have both won the race, the Ferrari driver in 2013 and the Red Bull driver triumphing in 2014.

Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher holds the record as a seven times winner of the Canadian Grand Prix.