Canada problems a wake-up call, says Mercedes
The problems Mercedes encountered acted as a “wake-up call” for the manufacturer, according to its motorsport boss Toto Wolff.
Mercedes has won all seven Formula 1 grands prix this year and holds a commanding position in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship.
But it suffered a spate of issues in Canada, with a fuel system problem impacting Valtteri Bottas in the first practice session, while a hydraulic issue – diagnosed to a faulty throttle actuator – meant work was required on Lewis Hamilton’s W10 prior to the race.
Mercedes-powered Racing Point driver Lance Stroll also had his preparations hindered by an engine problem during the early stages of the third practice session.
“Canada was something of a wake-up call for us,” said Wolff, whose team leads the championship by 123 points.
“After a run of very good reliability over the opening six races, we experienced a number of problems over the course of the weekend, almost all of which were of our own making.
“We were fortunate that those reliability issues were exposed when we still had the chance to solve them, but we know that they could have easily ruined our weekend and it is down to the great skill of our mechanics that they didn't.”
Mercedes was threatened by Ferrari in Canada but maintained its winning run in the wake of Sebastian Vettel’s time penalty, the application of which promoted Hamilton to the top step of the podium.
Hamilton controlled proceedings at this weekend’s venue Paul Ricard 12 months ago, with Wolff optimistic that the W10 will perform strongly at the track.
“We expect another tough fight in France next weekend,” said Wolff. “The circuit features some similarities to Montreal and the long straights will present a challenge for us.
“However, unlike Canada, the corner characteristics are spread across a range of speeds, which should play to our advantage. We're looking forward to the chance to put a few things right again.”