The most dominant team of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship arrive in Canada on the back of five consecutive one-two finishes and six consecutive race wins. Nico Rosberg got the better of Lewis Hamilton in Monaco and sits on top of the Drivers’ Championship but by only four points, while the Mercedes team are comfortably clear of second placed Red Bull Racing.
Rosberg took his second win of the season in Monaco two weeks ago, but knows it will be difficult against his team-mate again in Montreal. The German has never finished on the podium in Canada, with his best result being a fifth place from last year.
“Sunday in Monaco was a very special day for me,” admitted Rosberg. “It was a fantastic result to get another one-two and I’m really happy for the whole team. Lewis drove really, really well and pushed me massively hard but I kept it cool and was able to take the win. He has been on top of his game so it was important for me to break his momentum last weekend. I now have the lead again in the World Championship which is great. But it’s still very early days and it’s going to continue to be an extremely tight battle between us this year.
“From Monaco, we head across the Big Pond to Canada. Montreal is one of my favourite venues. It’s a beautiful but also crazy city where there is always a lot happening: particularly in the evenings… it’s a great place to celebrate a good result, shall we say! That’s what I’ll be aiming for again this weekend.”
Team-mate Hamilton surrendered the lead in the championship to Rosberg in Monaco after finishing second, but the Briton is very proud of how the whole team are working to get results in 2014, while at the same time admitting he was disappointed to lose out to the German. He returns to the track that gave him his first victory in Formula 1 back in his rookie season of 2007, and he has won around the Montreal circuit twice more since in 2010 and 2012.
“Monaco was another great weekend for the team and I’m so proud of all the hard work the guys put in to make it happen,” said Hamilton. “Of course, from a personal perspective it wasn’t what I was aiming for. I race to win every time and unfortunately it just wasn’t my weekend. But I drove with all my heart and gave it all I could, so I head to the next race with even more energy and determination.
“Montreal is one of my favourite weekends of the year. It’s where I won my first Grand Prix back in 2007 and I’ve had another two victories there since, so it holds some special memories for me. The city itself is incredible. It’s one I always love to go to and there’s always a great crowd, so I’m hoping for them that the weather is good and we can put on a great show!”
Toto Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport was pleased about how the Monaco weekend played out, especially as it was a track they did not believe would suit their car as much as others before it. He is also not being complacent coming to Montreal, with many expecting the car to be at the front again.
“We are pleased to head to Canada on the back of another strong weekend in Monaco,” said Wolff. “We went into that race convinced that our rivals could outperform us and that’s how we worked to prepare for the weekend: like we were the underdogs. So we were pleased to see that we still had a good advantage at the front of the field. The team is operating at a very high level right now but we need to keep the ball flat, stay humble and keep pushing.
“On paper, you might say that Canada is the kind of circuit that should suit our package. But we don’t have a crystal ball and we have been bitten by that way of thinking in the past. We know that our rivals are getting closer and that we will need to extract every bit of potential to deliver a strong performance in Montreal. Lewis has a fantastic track record in Canada; Nico has the momentum from his win in Monaco. We are all looking forward to the next chapter in the story of this season.”