Toto Wolff says the track characteristics of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could favour the likes of Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing in the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix.
Wolff, whose Mercedes AMG Motorsport team has won every race so far this season, heads to Canada off the back of a difficult weekend in Monaco.
“Monaco was not an easy weekend for the team,” says Wolff. “On the one hand, winning in Monte Carlo is one of the best things a Formula One team can experience – especially if it is such a tight race with a nail-biting finish.
“On the other hand, the loss of Niki [Lauda] hit us hard. But we think he would have been proud of the performance we delivered in the circumstances.”
Wolff says that Canada poses a different sort of challenge, suggesting that Mercedes’ main challengers may be closer than in recent races.
“The next race takes us to Canada, the only fly-away race within the European season. To a large extent, the challenges of Montréal are opposite to those of Monaco; the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a high-speed track with relatively long straights and lots of overtaking possibilities.
“Similar to Monaco,
however, are the concrete walls that punish any mistakes heavily and a tight
qualifying session around this relatively short lap.
“Canada is the seventh race of the season and we are beginning to see more clearly the strengths and weaknesses of our car. In the past six races, we were very strong in the corners but lost time on the straights. This will make Canada a huge challenge for us as the track characteristics could favour our opponents – there are many long straights, and fewer corners in which to make up lap time.
“But we’re looking forward to the challenge; we’ve seen some great races in Canada in recent years and expect another action-packed weekend in Montréal.”