F1 Canadian GP 2019: Mercedes' unbeaten streak may end in Montreal
The F1 circus reaches Canada this weekend and if Toto Wolff is to be believed then Canada could be their biggest challenge yet. Mercedes has dominated the 2019 season by winning each of the first 6 races but it doesn't have the quickest car in a straight line this year. Ferrari seems to have an advantage on that front and was able to demonstrate that in Bahrain this year.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff believes that the fast nature of Montreal may suit their rivals and close the gap to Mercedes.
"Canada is the seventh race of the season and we are beginning to see more clearly the strengths and weaknesses of our car," said Mercedes chief Toto Wolff.
"In the past six races, we were very strong in the corners but lost time on the straights. This will make Canada a huge challenge for us as the track characteristics could favor our opponents - there are many long straights, and fewer corners in which to make up lap time.
"But we're looking forward to the challenge; we've seen some great races in Canada in recent years and expect another action-packed weekend in Montreal."
It was quite evident in Barcelona that the Ferrari package is quicker in a straight line but loses out massively in traction and aerodynamics. Canada's point and squirt nature is in many ways similar to Bahrain and could play into the hands of the Scuderia.
Ferrari, on the other hand, concedes that there are still improvements that need to be made and Mercedes start as favorites for this weekend.
"We arrive here ready to do our best and to put the mistakes of the last few races behind us," said Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto before flying to Montreal.
"We know we're not competitive enough right now and, for the time being, we haven't got any more changes coming on the car that will have a significant effect on the problems we have encountered since the start of the season," admitted Binotto.
"However, the Canadian track characteristics present another different challenge, given that top speed, braking efficiency and traction are the main considerations."
The track at Canada should see Ferrari close the gap to Mercedes and the drivers of the caliber of Sebastien Vettel and Charles Leclerc, Ferrari can mount a challenge. But with an upgraded Mercedes engine coming in and Ferrari's inability to put together clean weekends, Mercedes should start as favorites yet again.