Mercedes engine upgrade won't match Ferrari's top speed - Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas doesn't believe Mercedes latest engine upgrade will see it matching Ferrari's straight-line speed, but is pleased to get his hands on a new unit for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
The dominant Mercedes team, which has won all six races so far this season – five of which have been 1-2 finishes – is introducing its phase two power unit in Montreal, which is a power hungry circuit with its long straights.
Ferrari are expected to perform better this weekend with its current straight-line speed advantage, and although Bottas expects a "tiny" performance gain from the new engine, he doesn't foresee Mercedes equalling Ferrari's top speed.
"For sure the engine upgrade is very welcome," said the Finnish driver. "That is thanks to all of the work at Brixworth.
"Obviously it's something we need to see physically how it actually behaves on-track and everything. We also need to make sure that it's reliable.
"We're expecting already from a fresh engine a tiny bit of power gain, but we're expecting a small step forward. We don't think it's quite yet enough to match Ferrari's straight-line speed. They will have the upper-hand on that, but we have our strengths in other areas. I look forward to feeling it on Friday."
Nonetheless Bottas has welcomed the new engine, not because it's an upgrade, but because his current unit is nearing the end of its lifecycle after six races, whereas Ferrari received their upgrade just two races ago in Spain.
"I think it's coming at the right time because the first engine is running towards the end of its life, so we will have needed a new one anyway.
"But it's nice to have the upgrade here, definitely, for example compared to Monaco. The engine is much more valuable here, so it's good timing for that. Like I said earlier, we need to see how it actually feels and works, and how much it is going to benefit compared to the old one."