Mercedes doubted Lewis Hamilton would finish race after start drama

Lewis Hamilton's car prior to the Canadian GP

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton’s car was "in a million bits" pre-race, with the team initially doubting the car would reach the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s W10 developed a hydraulic leak after qualifying and the team was forced into repairs through Sunday morning at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Hamilton went on to win the race in the wake of a time penalty for long-time leader Sebastian Vettel, but Wolff described the victory as one of the toughest he could recall.

"What looks to be a victory was a very tough weekend for the team behind the scenes," said Wolff. "We had a car that was in a million bits in the morning, because of the hydraulic leak and we weren’t sure whether we could race it and whether it would finish the race.

"So, half of the team was suffering from the flu behind. Which nobody sees. It was just a matter of pushing through.

"We had the engine that blew up on Lance [Stroll’s] car [in FP3], which we didn’t know if it would affect us.

"Overall the most difficult race weekend I can remember even though it didn’t look like this from the outset at all."

Hamilton trailed Vettel across the line but remained comfortably within five seconds to ensure he was promoted to first.

Wolff, though, believes Hamilton was still pushing during the closing stages in a bid to make the move prior to the chequered flag.

"I think he wanted to make a point that he would’ve been able to overtake him on track and say ‘I’ve won the race on track’ rather than win it through a five-second penalty," added Wolff.

"I think that’s what he was trying to achieve, and I knew that."