Ferrari’s Canada GP upgrade has responded very well on track, so much so that, Mercedes have been found wanting for pace.
In the post qualifying interview, Toto Wolff admitted that Mercedes were losing close to half a second to Ferrari on the straights, something that has hampered Bottas’ chances against Vettel in qualifying yesterday.
Wolff singled out the ‘straight line pace’ as a reason for Mercedes falling behind, as in the corners, the speed is pretty much comparable.
And while talking about straight line speed, it was only obvious that a ‘Christian Horner’ dig made its appearance.
“I’ve heard Christian [Horner, Red Bull team boss] complaining the last four years about straightline speed, so I don’t want to go there!” said Wolff.
“But as a matter of fact it’s where we lost out today. They have a great power unit, a huge performance.
“We were looking good through all kinds of corners, but we’re not able to match their straightline performance.
“Valtteri was exceptional in the third sector, this is why we were close to pole position. We just have to look at things and try to improve.” he added.
Wolff has conceded that Mercedes are working on somehow getting greater power output so as to restore parity.
“To be precise, it was five tenths, on the straights.” Wolff said.
“It’s not expected, but in F1 you need to expect everything, and we need to find out how we can increase our power output, and not one single second I want to look at Ferrari, I want to look at ourselves, look at Mercedes and say: ‘Is there anything we have missed?’
“How can we increase our power output from the ICE, or electrically from the battery or from the H, whatever we can look at, in order to have more power.
“Because if we want to win this championship, or stay in the hunt in this championship, we’ve got a severe warning today in terms of what we have seen.” he added.
And with Kimi still using the old spec V6, Wolff believes that the performance is actually coming from elsewhere, which is even more worrying.
“Yeah, it is a worry, but we have seen already they are capable of doing it – pretty much within a few races, independent from the power unit [V6], because one car – the Raikkonen car – still has the first spec in the car, Vettel has a new spec in the car, and they’ve brought new bits to the track today that they’ve put into all Ferrari-powered cars, and all of them bar one made it into Q3.
“So that is an extraordinary, or really exceptional development, and if others are capable of achieving that we need to be capable of achieving that and looking at all avenues.” Wolff said.
Ferrari clearly have the advantage at this moment and are exploiting it to the best. Mercedes are struggling with pace, reliability and luck to a large extent.
They need to dig deep today and in Hungary next week so as to be in comfortable situation during the summer break.