Mercedes had doubts Hamilton would start, finish Canadian GP

Mercedes did not know if Canadian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton would even start the race because his Formula 1 car was in "a million bits" on Sunday morning.

Mercedes had doubts Hamilton would start, finish Canadian GP

Hamilton claimed his fifth victory in seven grands prix this season after a race-long battle with Sebastian Vettel, who won on the road but was dropped to second because of a time penalty for an incident with Hamilton.

Read Also:

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff revealed that replacing the hydraulic system on Hamilton's car added last-minute drama to a weekend that was already proving challenging.

"What looks to be a victory was a very tough weekend for the team behind the scenes," said Wolff. "We had a car that was in a million bits because of the hydraulic leak.

"We weren't sure whether we could race it, whether it would finish the race. Then half the team was suffering from a flu, which nobody sees. It was just a matter of pushing through.

"We had the engine that blew up on Lance [Stroll]'s car, which we didn't know if it would affect us. Overall it was one of the most difficult race weekends I can remember even though it didn't look like this from the outside at all."

Racing Point driver Stroll had a fiery exit from final practice, which worried Mercedes because his newly-introduced 'Phase 2' engine had failed.

Mercedes only rolled out its upgraded engine for its works cars and customer teams at this race, but Wolff had made it clear the team was not going to turn the engines down in the grand prix.

There were no subsequent engine issues for any Mercedes-powered cars, although the high temperatures in Montreal meant many teams were battling rising brake temperatures.

Wolff said he was given additional stress late on as Hamilton pushed to try to overtake Vettel despite knowing he only needed to be within five seconds of the Ferrari to win.

"I think he wanted to make a point that he would have been able to overtake him on track and say 'I've won the race on track'," said Wolff. "Rather than win with the five-second penalty.

"This is what he was trying to achieve. I knew that. I was not [comfortable with that] because the brakes were overheating. But I think it was a racer's behaviour and a racer's decision."

shares
comments
Does penalty anger hide another Vettel blunder?

Previous article

Does penalty anger hide another Vettel blunder?

Next article

Brawn wants F1 to better explain penalty decisions

Brawn wants F1 to better explain penalty decisions
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021