Mercedes have been the class of the field in 2019, winning all six races so far and getting both cars on the podium on each occasion. And in an attempt to maintain and extend that advantage, they could well introduce their first upgraded engine of the season in Canada…
Lewis Hamilton had to work hard for victory in Monaco – his third triumph on the streets of the Principality – after Mercedes opted to fit him with medium tyres for the majority of the race, which ultimately turned out to be the wrong compound to be on.
The five-time world champion made it work to secure his fourth victory in six races this year, but he said there are still plenty of areas where they can improve, including on power, with Hamilton anticipating getting Mercedes’ first updated engine of the season in Montreal – even if that Silver Arrows have yet to confirm their plans.
Traditionally, engine manufacturers bring their first updated power unit to Canada, as it is a power-sensitive circuit where any gains can be made best use of.
This year, with drivers permitted to use only three engines without penalty, Canada – being round seven of 21 – is the natural point at which to introduce a fresh engine.
However, the other three power unit manufacturers have already brought their first updates. Honda did so in Baku, while Ferrari and Renault brought forward the introduction of their new spec two races to Spain, which was round five of the campaign.
“A lot of analysis will be made,” said Hamilton, “and particularly towards trying to understand the tyres better and deliver better in terms of our processes and on my side, trying to work even better with my engineers to try and extract more from my car.
“That means Bono [Pete Bonnington] and Marcus [Dudley] and a lot of the engineers trying to extract more information from ERS and positioning the information in the right way so I can deliver more from this car.
“And also I know the guys back at the factory are working on developments… I think we will probably have a new engine by the next race, so the car will continue to move forward, as we will.”
Hamilton leads the drivers’ championship from Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 17 points – but worryingly for his rivals, the Briton believes his performance has been middling at best.
“I definitely feel that it’s been quite an average performance from myself, maybe above average but generally quite average for the first six races,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got the best I could get. I’ve arrived prepared – the best prepared I could be – but in terms of extracting the true performance from the car, I feel like I’ve struggled a little bit in these six races.
“I guess that’s kind of similar to other seasons but without doubt, it’s going to improve as the knowledge you gain over the season, race by race, particularly with the tyres this year, where the window is even smaller.
“I hope, at some stage, that I’m able to crack the issues that I’ve had and get back to the form that I have within me. Whether that’s the next race or 10 races from now, I can’t really say but I am very, very focused on making sure I rectify any of those.”
Courtesy of Formula 1