Hamilton feared engine failure
Lewis Hamilton feared that his engine was going to fail during the Canadian Grand Prix after the power unit developed a problem early in the race.
The Englishman was forced to make his first stop earlier than planned to allow his Mercedes team to remove bodywork to help bring down his engine temperatures. While the modification brought his car under control, Hamilton still feared that his engine was going to fail.
He told Motorsport.com, “Straight from the start, we got out of Turn 2, the power started dropping out. There were lots of hesitations, engine dropping in power, so I thought the engine was going to blow.”
“We don’t have a problem with cooling, we just had something fail that sent temperatures up. It was an unforeseen issue and that was losing us power. We were operating far below our power target.” He says throughout the race he feared that the engine was going to blow up.
Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff says the team tried to “manage the situation” before they brought Hamilton in early from his first stint. Adding “The cooling level was set correctly, optimised for the start. Then it didn’t come together as expected. It was a mechanical failure, so the car ran hot from the first lap.”
Hamilton believes that as the season plays out, his fifth place in Canada could prove vitally important in the championship battle. “I’m sure over the next couple of days it’ll get more painful, [it was] ultimately a poor weekend, but it could be a lot worse,” he said.
Renault says Red Bull need to make engine decision
Renault says that Red Bull needs to make a decision about its power unit supply before next weekends French Grand Prix. The Austrian team hasn’t decided whether to stick with the French manufacturer or switch to Honda for next season.
Both Honda and Renault brought upgrades for Montreal, giving Red Bull the opportunity to look at both power units. Renault agreed to the new deadline, but F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul says a decision is needed in the next few days.
He told ESPN, “We’re trying hard, but that must be under conditions that are acceptable to us, starting with the timing. I don’t want to start mentioning a date, otherwise, you’ll start calling me that day.”
“I have a date, they know the day, but we are not talking about Austria. Austria, we won’t be here, and they will be talking directly to Honda. They wanted an offer, we’ve made an offer, that offer has to be accepted in the next few days.”
Renault is keen to keep the partnership beyond this year, claiming that the only way Red Bull can win a championship before 2021 is to stay with Renault.
He added “It was Montreal that they wanted to wait for: our new spec, Honda’s new spec. They have all the information, I see no absolutely no reason to delay that any further.”
Abiteboul ruled out waiting for Red Bull to decide in Austria as it needs to order parts and components in advance for its 2019 engine.
Verstappen showed similar attitude to Hamilton
Mercedes ambassador Nico Rosberg believes Max Verstappen’s return to form at the Canadian Grand Prix, shows traits that Lewis Hamilton has of performing better when angry.
After a difficult start to the season, the Red Bull driver arrived in Montreal under pressure to turn around his season. Verstappen was perfect all weekend, not making a mistake during the weekend finishing on the podium.
On his YouTube channel, Rosberg said “Verstappen – epic weekend. He showed a bit of Lewis Hamilton attitude to me this weekend. When Lewis is angry, he is at his best.”
“He channels it into an unbelievable performance and I think Verstappen had some of that this weekend, so he gained this extra focus from the word go.
“He was first all the way through [practice], great qualifying, and finished third. I think that was a really good weekend from him.”
Hamilton’s former teammate suggested that he appeared to lack a bit of motivation as he came home fifth. Saying “Lewis – he had one of those off-weekends totally.”
“Okay he had an engine thing in the race, but even so qualifying was still off. Typical for Lewis – these phases where he loses a bit of motivation when things don’t go well.”
Communication error blamed on early chequered flag
The FIA says the reason why the chequered flag was waved a lap early during the Canadian Grand Prix was because of a simple miscommunication, insisting they are “reviewing procedures.”
The flag which marks the end of the race was waved a lap early, though Sebastian Vettel realised the error and carried on at full pace to take the victory. The mistake also meant the race was officially declared as 68 laps long with the final two laps erased, and the FIA, F1’s governing body, have sought to explain the incident.
Race director Charlie Whiting, told Reuters “It was a miscommunication between the start platform and the guy they call the starter here.”
“He thought it was the last lap and asked them at the top to confirm it, they confirmed it. They thought he was making a statement when in fact he was asking a question.” The flag was waved by the Canadian model Winnie Harlow.
The race result wasn’t affected by the early flag and erased final laps, with no changes of position taking place, but did see Max Verstappen take the fastest lap of the race rather than Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
FIA are now reviewing procedures.
The same incident happened at the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix, while Brazilian football legend Pele famously waved the flag too late for Michael Schumacher’s 2002 victory at Interlagos.
Teams go for ultrasoft for France
Pirelli has announced the driver’s tyre allocations for next weekends French Grand Prix. For the race at Paul Ricard, the teams had the choice of the mid-range of soft compounds with the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft compounds.
Both Mercedes, Ferrari’s, Renault’s and Saubers have gone for nine sets of ultrasofts. Four times champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have three supersofts and a soft, while there Finnish teammates Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen have two of both the supersofts and softs.
While Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have three supersofts and a soft, their teammates Nico Hulkenberg and Marcus Ericsson have spilt the remainder for two of both the supersofts and softs.
Both Red Bulls have the fewest ultrasoft tyres, with seven sets each and have divided the remaining six sets to give them three of both the supersofts and softs. Both Force India’s have eight ultrasofts, two supersofts and three softs.
Both Williams has ten ultrasofts, but Lance Stroll has gone for more supersofts with two and a single soft. His teammate Sergey Siroktin has a single supersoft and two softs.
Fernando Alonso has eight ultrasofts, two supersofts and three softs. Stoffel Vandoorne has nine ultrasofts and two of both the supersofts and softs.
Both Toro Rosso’s have eight ultrasofts, but Pierre Gasly has four supersofts and a single soft with teammate Brendon Hartley having three supersofts and two softs. Haas has eight ultrasofts each, with Romain Grosjean going for three supersofts and two softs. His teammate Kevin Magnussen has four supersofts and a soft.