Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team is braced for a “huge challenge” from Formula 1 rivals Ferrari at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion squad has won all six races so far this season and despite Ferrari being yet to record a victory, Mercedes is expecting a resurgence from the Scuderia in Canada.

Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is dominated by long straights, an area Ferrari’s SF90 has been the standout car in, while Mercedes’ W10 has performed better in slower corners seen in the final sector at Barcelona and Monaco. 

“Canada is the seventh race of the season and we are beginning to see more clearly the strengths and weaknesses of our car,” Wolff said.

“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 favour 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.”

Mercedes is expected to bring its first engine upgrade of the season to Canada in the hope of clawing back some of its current top speed deficit to Ferrari.

Ferrari introduced its latest power unit in Spain after opting to bring forward its development by two races in a bid to reduce Mercedes’ advantage, though its best result has been a second-place finish for Sebastian Vettel in Monaco.

Speaking after his victory in Monte Carlo, Lewis Hamilton, who holds a 17-point lead in the championship, said: “Going into the next race, a lot of analysis will be made and particularly towards trying to understand the tyres better and deliver better in terms of our processes and on my side, trying to work even better with my engineers to try and extract more from my car.

“That means Bono [Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington] and a lot of the engineers trying to extract more information from the ERS and positioning the information in the right way so I can deliver more from this car.

“And also I know the guys back at the factory are working on developments, so I think we will probably have a new engine by the next race, so the car will continue to move forwards as we will.”

 

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