Valtteri Bottas finished the Canadian Grand Prix in P2 – his fourth podium finish at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and fourth second place of the 2018 season. Lewis Hamilton came home in P5 – his 32nd consecutive finish in the points. Today’s result marks the 20th podium finish in Canada for Mercedes-Benz power. Sebastian Vettel (121 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by one point from Lewis (120 points) with Valtteri in P3 (86 points). Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (206 points) lead the Constructors’ Championship by 17 points from Ferrari (189 points).
We tried everything we could, but I don’t think we had a chance to really fight for the win today. I had an exciting start to the race, when I was defending second place as hard as I could. I was on the outside in Turn 1, trying to carry a lot of speed to be on the inside line for Turn 2. I went wheel to wheel with Max, we fought hard, but it was all fair and I was just happy that I managed to stay ahead of him. After that I was trying to put pressure on Sebastian, but didn’t have enough pace. The Ferrari was controlling the race and we just weren’t quick enough today. I backed off late in the race to save some fuel which is why Max got so close. We were the only top team that didn’t bring a new engine for this race, everyone else had an improved power unit. Hopefully the introduction of our new engine in France will help us in the fight with Ferrari and Red Bull.
It was a tough day in the office today, but I’m just very grateful that I finished today’s race and score some points. From the start I was down on power and my engine was overheating. I couldn’t get the temperatures down, so I just thought it was going to fail. Every single lap I was waiting for the power to just drop away and disappear – but it kept going. I could have lost a lot more points today; fifth is not the strongest result, but it could have been a lot worse. Ferrari have been doing a slightly better job and brought a better package, but we are very close. The guys are working really hard, but each and every one of us can always do better and improve. We will just keep our heads down, keep pushing and stay positive.
This has been a tricky weekend for us, with Ferrari showing they had the quickest car in qualifying and in the race. We came to Montreal expecting to perform strongly and today’s result is a further lesson to us that the historic patterns of performance between the teams are not holding true this year. It is very hard to see a trend from circuit to circuit, and the race results are being decided by tight margins – which team makes the fewest mistakes, develops its chassis and power unit most effectively, finds the right balance between performance and reliability, and puts together their race weekend cleanly from Friday onwards. Today, the fastest laps table showed three teams within 0.15s and this is the new reality of 2018. Looking at today’s race, Valtteri got a good start then defended extremely well from Verstappen in the first two corners. We never had the pace to challenge Sebastian – but that move was the basis for his P2 finish. After this, he raced hard, hardly put a foot wrong but we didn’t have the pace for any more today. On Lewis’ side, we had an issue with a chassis component that compromised his cooling from the opening lap. That meant the engine was running hot and we had to manage temperatures, costing performance, in the opening stint. We were able to open up the bodywork at the pit-stop to improve the situation, but also lost a place to Ricciardo that we were unable to get back during the next 50 laps. It has been a tough weekend for us – tougher than we expected – and this result is a wake-up call for everybody in the team. We now need to reflect in the right way, understand where we can find more performance and respond in Paul Ricard in two weeks’ time.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1