F1 Canadian GP: Mercedes reiterates equal driver philosophy

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 8, 2017

Mercedes has dismissed speculation that it is considering quitting Formula One at the end of the 2018 season.

The Silver Arrows are coming to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend after a disastrous performance in Monaco two weeks ago.

78 - On Sunday, Jackie Stewart turns 78 - he is a three-time F1 World Champion and the oldest one still alive.

Hamilton felt Ferrari's strategy calls in Monaco ensured Vettel could leapfrog his team-mate during the pit stops to take the lead and claim victory in order to strengthen his place at the top of the Formula 1 world championship standings.

The Mercedes driver missed out on Q3 in Monte Carlo after being held up behind a Stoffel Vandoorne crash and had to settle for a seventh-place finish in the race, with victor Sebastian Vettel opening up a 25-point gap at the top of the drivers' standings.

But Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff insisted "the reports are totally unfounded and nothing more than malicious speculation of an individual".

Hamilton headed into this season chasing a fourth title.

"It's painful, but we are not the favourites for this year's championship", Wolff said.

"At the moment it's Ferrari".

"We need to rise to the challenge to prove we are the team to beat".

While everything works perfectly for Ferrari, Mercedes is struggling to find the right balance between the front and rear of the vehicle.

Mercedes has produced a relatively strong vehicle for 2017, but at its core the W08 also suffers from a difficulty to fully exploit its tyres, mainly when shod with Pirelli's Ultrasoft compound. Mercedes botched their tire choices in Monaco practice, leading to a very hard qualifying session.

"Everybody at the factories is working absolutely flat out to assess the current difficulties we are facing - to define our objectives, work with the data we have and then come up with the right solutions", said Wolff. Some of the corrections will be made in the short term, others will take longer.

And Wolff admits that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal might not play to the strengths of the Mercedes vehicle. We've come into this season with a strong auto that has allowed us to win three of the first six races.

Wolff says the Brackley-based team are working hard to establish why their vehicle struggles on certain race tracks.

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