Mercedes chief predicts performance level at Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes have a revamped car and saw the result of their upgrades with a double podium in Spain

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Tuesday 13 June 2023 13:22 BST
Lewis Hamilton Speaks On Mercedes' Upgrades Before Spanish Grand Prix

Mercedes chief Andrew Shovlin admits the team won’t be “nipping at the heels” of Red Bull at the Canadian Grand Prix - with the Montreal circuit offering a “bigger challenge” than last time out in Spain.

The Silver Arrows brought highly-anticipated upgrades to the Monaco Grand Prix last month, with their full impact seen at the traditional testing circuit in Barcelona last time out.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished second and third respectively, securing Mercedes’ first double podium of the season.

Yet Toto Wolff has moved to downplay suggestions Mercedes can compete with runaway leaders Red Bull and trackside engineering director Shovlin echoed those thoughts when speaking in the team’s debrief video.

“The fact is that the update kit works very well around circuits like Barcelona with a lot of high-speed performance,” Shovlin said.

“The car itself would have still been okay there because we’ve been better at the fast circuits and the front-limited tracks. We ended up with a really good balance and really good race pace.

“Now, where we are going to go next, Montreal, it’s a very different circuit. There are more low-speed corners, quite a lot of straight-line full throttle and we would expect more of a challenge there.

“We are not thinking that we are going in nipping at the heels of Red Bull. We are going in there prepared for a battle with Ferrari, Aston Martin, and maybe even Alpine.”

Andrew Shovlin says Mercedes won’t be ‘nipping at the heels’ of Red Bull in Canada (Getty Images)

Hamilton finished on the podium last year in Canada, behind Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, and Shovlin added that behind Red Bull the performance gap is close with other teams this season.

“It will be good fun and we are certainly going to be fighting to find every little bit of performance we can,” he added.

“Because the way the grid stacks up now you can be P2 or you can be P10, and there are only a few tenths in it,” he added.

“We are looking forward to more exciting racing but certainly we are aware that Canada is likely to be a bigger challenge than the Sunday we just had in Barcelona.”

Verstappen currently has a 59-point lead in the championship from Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and has won the last three races in Miami, Monaco and Barcelona.

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