George Russell, Mercedes, Circui Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2024

Mercedes suspect Montreal track layout ‘made us look quicker’

Formula 1

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Mercedes believe it will be hard for them to repeat last weekend’s performance at upcoming tracks but are bringing further upgrades to continue their progress.

The team enjoyed its most competitive showing of the year so far in Canada. George Russell put the W15 on pole position and scored their first podium finish in a grand prix this season in third place ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton.

The result came as both drivers had the benefit of the team’s latest front wing for the first time. Technical director James Allison said the design is working as expected and provided a greater benefit in Canada than Monaco.

“We expected it to perform well,” he said in a video released by the team. “We expected it to deliver a bit more in in Canada than it did in Monaco because the Canada circuit, although unusual, is more of a normal circuit than Monaco was.

“And it did, it delivered more performance. It made the car feel easier to drive, well balanced and made the car the drivers’ friend rather than the thing they’ve been fighting, which has been what has been problematic in the opening part of the season for us.”

The drivers had previously described the W15’s balance as being on a knife-edge. Allison says its now has a wider operating window.

“I think we have broadened it substantially,” he said. “I think there’s more we still need to do and we’ll know for sure when we go to the next track, which is Barcelona, because there, there is really very substantial range of cornering conditions. There is also a much hotter track and so that will be a quite a stern test of a vehicle.”

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Although Allison is convinced the team has improved its car, he says further upgrades are needed to ensure they continue to perform at the level they enjoyed in Canada.

“The changes we’ve made are definitely making this car a better car and that will that will be true at every circuit we go to,” he said.

“The characteristics of Montreal probably make it look a little quicker than than we have a natural right to command at the coming races. I think it’s more likely that we will be competitive but not right at the front.

“The next tracks are a little bit of a sterner test of a car: Hot asphalt, wider cornering speeds and so on. However, that said, I also know what we’ve got coming. I also know what we’re planning to further improve the car.

“Our challenge is just to keep those upgrades arriving at a pace that the others can’t keep up with. And in doing that, just bullying our car to the front by virtue of the effort made by everybody here over the coming weeks and months to get the car so that it can have its Montreal weekend or better at any track that we face in the future.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Mercedes suspect Montreal track layout ‘made us look quicker’”

  1. considering aston martin and mclarens pace its probably more likely pirelli suited the merc rear suspension. just like ferrari in monaco.

    1. IIRC McLaren use a gearbox of their own design, rather than the Merc default, so that they can do the rear end differently.

  2. Oh dear, Merc have improved so much they are have returned to telling everyone they are underdogs. Just like in thier dominant years. The other teams need to look out!

    1. Erm, when was the last time Merc had two or three good races?!

      Time and time again after a good weekend, it was back to normal the next.

  3. So they are quick, I knew it!

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