Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes engineer rivals positive Canadian GP update | F1 | Sport

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The championship leader is hoping to claim a seventh career win at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve but the Silver Arrows are without the improved power unit they planned to introduce in Montreal due to quality issues.

That leaves Mercedes at a slight disadvantage as they look to get back to winning ways after Hamilton came third and team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished fifth in Monte Carlo two weeks ago.

But although Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped the time-sheets in both of the first two practice sessions in Canada, where Hamilton has won the previous three races, Mercedes boasted the best long-run pace of FP2.

And issuing a positive update, directer Shovlin told the Brackley-based team’s website that the reigning constructors’ champions are in fine shape ahead of FP3 (4pm) and qualifying (7pm) later today. 

“Overall we’ve had a fairly straightforward day, the car has run reliably and it was just the red flags and virtual safety cars that caused us to have to adapt the plan a little,” Shovlin revealed.

“The car balance has been good from the first run so it has just been a case of small balance tuning to keep the car in the right window as the track grip came up.

“It’s difficult to judge our single lap pace from today as we haven’t run the HyperSoft and some of our closest competition looked to have had less than perfect sessions.

“However, comparing on the same tyres, we do look to be in better shape than we were in Monaco.

“The long runs seem consistent, with the tyres behaving normally although as always, Ferrari and Red Bull look to be very similar pace and we’ll need to wait until Sunday to see how we actually stack up.”

Red Bull rival Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that he suspects Mercedes will be the team to beat in Canada.

He said after Practice Two: “I would say that Mercedes’ pace was really fast today. Even on the harder tyre, they were still doing pretty good lap times.

“I think they’ll be at this stage hard to beat. I guess the fight will be with Ferrari, too early to really know, but I’m sure Mercedes will be really fast [in qualifying] tomorrow afternoon.”



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