Valtteri Bottas expects a small step forward this weekend as his Mercedes AMG Motorsport team introduce an updated power unit for the Canadian Grand Prix, although he still feels it will not enable him or team-mate Lewis Hamilton to match the straight-line speed that Scuderia Ferrari has with their engine.
Bottas, who has finished on the podium in the past four Canadian Grand Prix and in each of the six races of 2019 to date, revealed that Mercedes’ new unit should offer the team a ‘tiny bit’ of power gain, but he expects both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc to still be quicker in a straight-line.
“We are expecting obviously already from a fresh engine a tiny bit of power gain, but we are expecting a small step forward,” Bottas is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“We don’t think it is quite yet enough to match Ferrari’s straight-line speed. They will have the upper hand on that, but we will have our strengths in other areas. I look forward to trying it.”
The Finn, currently second in the Drivers’ Championship behind team-mate Hamilton, says the upgrade has come at a good time for Mercedes as the first engine that’s been in the car since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix is reaching the end of its life.
“I think it is coming at the right time because the first engine is running towards the end of its life so we definitely needed a new one anyway,” admits the Finn, who has won twice in 2019 so far.
“It is nice to have the upgrade here compared to Monaco. The engine is much more valuable here so it is good timing for that. But we need to see what actually works and how much is the benefit compared to the other one.”