No upgrade for Mercedes at Montreal

MONTREAL • Lewis Hamilton fears the momentum may be with Ferrari this weekend after his Mercedes team on Thursday confirmed they will not be upgrading their engines for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The championship leader and defending champion said that the power-hungry nature of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve made engines a decisive factor, adding that he believed Ferrari were favourites.

The Briton leads Ferrari's four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel by 14 points in the title race.

"This is a power circuit so it was our target (to have the new engine) and it definitely would have been helpful," said Hamilton, who is aiming for a record-equalling seventh victory in Canada tomorrow.

"But the guys worked as hard as they could and had to take a sensible decision to not bring it here, which is definitely unfortunate. We'll have to try and make do without it, but it will mean our performance will probably not be the greatest."

Anticipating that both Ferrari and Red Bull will use upgraded engines, the 33-year-old added: "If the others are bringing upgrades and have fresh engines, particularly given how close we are, we won't be in a position to fight for the victory.

"This is a power circuit and there is power lost over an engine's life. All I'm hoping for is reliability.

"If I'm on the seventh race with a difficult circuit on engines, I want to see it through. That's my main concern.

"Ferrari are particularly very strong on the straights so it'll be interesting to see if we are able to match them or not, but we'll give it everything, that's for sure."

Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas also lamented the delayed arrival of the new engine, but the Finn expressed his confidence the original one would still do a good job.

A Mercedes spokesman later revealed that the team would be using the unit at the French Grand Prix on June 24 instead.

On a side note, Hamilton also questioned the absence of women in Forbes' annual list of 100 of the world's highest-paid athletes released earlier this week, saying there was "no reason women should not be able to earn what men are able to earn", and that society and sport was "still in the stone age".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2018, with the headline 'No upgrade for Mercedes at Montreal'. Print Edition | Subscribe