Lewis Hamilton found his way back to the podium in Montreal, on a circuit he has always enjoyed, and Toto Wolff is very pleased about this. The director of Mercedes F1 is satisfied to see that his drivers have again done their best with a single-seater that is still tricky to drive.
“Montreal is a place that has always smiled on Lewis and he has been very good, with a not great car so he can be satisfied” said the Austrian, who also salutes the performance of George Russell. “The race pace was very good, especially when the tires started to degrade.
“We were catching up with Max [Verstappen] and Carlos [Sainz] and it was good to see. After making a gamble on Saturday that saw him drop back on the grid, George made good overtakes at the start and displayed a pace that saw him finish behind Lewis.”
With two finishes in third and fourth place in Baku and Montreal, Mercedes F1 did more than limit damage in this double race: “The last two weeks have showcased the team spirit that has allowed us to pick up a lot of points, even if we lack the pace to challenge those ahead of us.”
Mercedes will “start laying asphalt”
Toto Wolff was amused to see that the W13 was very good in the hairpin section, where the asphalt is newer and smoother. What make him joke about the possibility of seeing Mercedes embark on a new activity.
“You can see the hairpin is where they put new asphalt and we suffered less from the stiffness of the car, which is the main issue” continued an amused Wolff.
“We are going to diversify our business, we are going to get into asphalt laying! We are going to buy machines, go to all the tracks, and give them a new layer of asphalt. It would be money well invested.”
Returning to his seriousness, he described one of the lessons of the weekend: “The way forward is just to develop the car in a different window than we had. It was very low to the ground and clearly it wasn’t working.”
“So I think we have a development direction. We haven’t succeeded in many areas, but we understand the problem and we have to solve it.”
A rain configuration that works in the dry
Andrew Shovlin, the team’s director of engineering, is pleased to see progress on the pure pace of the W13: “It’s a good result for the team to clinch third and fourth places again, and it’s encouraging to see that our pace was better in Montreal than in Baku.”
“Both of our riders had a good race. Lewis had a solid race to the podium. We didn’t have the pace of Max or Carlos, but most of the time we were just two or three tenths short of attempt to close the gap.
Shovlin is even amazed that George Russell’s wet set-up worked well in the dry, giving the Briton good stability without preventing him from overtaking in a straight line: “George surprised us with his ability to overtake on the first stint.”
“We went with a big spoiler on his car during qualifying to see what he could do in the wet, but we thought that would be a problem in the race.
“However, he was able to attack in the corners and progressed well through the field to finish fourth. It’s hard to know what to expect every time we go to a circuit, but we certainly maximized an opportunity this weekend and learned more from the car.”
“The teams at Brackley and Brixworth continue to push hard, there is a lot to improve on the car but this race encourages us to keep trying to close the gap.”