The 2016 Formula One World Championship continues this weekend with Round Seven, the Canadian Grand Prix, from the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
• Lewis: “I’ve proven that I’m just as strong as I’ve ever been”
• Nico: “This is where experience helps me”
• Toto: “We have no breathing space”
• Paddy: “Understanding how best to use the UltraSoft for the race will be the main challenge”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Monaco brought us mixed emotions. For Lewis, it was just what the doctor ordered. For Nico, a whole lot of bad luck in one race made it a tough afternoon. But the main thing we took away was the very real threat from Red Bull.
It took a bold strategy, a big push from Lewis and an even bigger slice of luck with Daniel’s slow pit stop to get us that win. I’ve said this many times before – but we have no breathing space in this Championship. Maintaining any advantage is a constant battle – and the pressure is only getting bigger. This unpredictable season has been great for the sport and shows that Formula One is alive and well. But, for us as a team, there is clearly work to do. There remains room for improvement in our reliability – but the push for more performance has become increasingly important too.
We saw the 50th Formula One win for the Silver Arrows in Monte Carlo, which is a great achievement. But if we are to build the long-term success that puts Mercedes-Benz up there with the iconic names of this sport, we will need to push harder than ever.
I still can’t quite believe I’ve got my 44th Formula One win. It’s taken so much hard work from so many people throughout my career to reach this point – way too many to name – and it’s a very special landmark for me and my family. I have to say how grateful I am to my mechanics for sticking at it and sticking with me after what’s not been an easy start this year. It felt great to be back on the top step after a tough run and hopefully it was a big confidence boost for them too, because they’ve been doing a great job all season.
There’s a long way to go yet, though. We’ve seen from these opening six races that anything’s possible and these swings inevitably go both ways. We are the greatest team – but we have more pressure from our rivals than ever before, so it’s important we keep pulling together and refining any weak areas. I’ve proven that I’m just as strong as I’ve ever been and I will be for the rest of the year, so I’m looking forward to the next chapter. Montreal has always been a good track for me, so hopefully I’m able to shine like I did the first time I went there in that great city atmosphere.
I expected and prepared myself for some difficult races after the awesome start to the season. This is where experience helps me. In the last Grand Prix I hopefully got all of my bad luck out of the way in one race, so onwards and upwards again from now! I’m looking forward to heading over to Boston for a sponsor event first and then on to Canada.
It’s an awesome track and I’m sure our car will be great there too. It will be interesting to see where Red Bull are this time. We are hoping to get a little bit ahead of them again, so let’s see.me, so hopefully I’m able to shine like I did the first time I went there in that great city atmosphere.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
We came away from Monaco pleased to have won there for a fourth consecutive year – but not entirely satisfied after a tough afternoon for Nico. We’ve put a lot of effort into understanding why that was and have some good insights to take forwards into future races. Montréal is an unusual circuit, with plenty of low-speed corners linked by a good number of straights. It’s a track that is therefore very demanding of both the Power Unit and the brakes. It’s also a tricky circuit in terms of tyres.
We’ll see the second appearance of the UltraSoft compound this weekend – which should mean a notable drop in qualifying times relative to 2015. However, the track is far more aggressive on tyres than Monaco, so understanding how best to use the UltraSoft for the race will be one of the main challenges. We’re all looking forward to being back in Canada. It’s always a great event – one where the city really comes alive – and it’s good to see so many North American Formula One fans. Lewis has a fantastic record at this circuit, we saw arguably one of Nico’s greatest drives there in 2014 and the team secured a fantastic 1-2 in 2015, so we should be set for an exciting weekend.