Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari’s Formula 1 engine has a power mode that Mercedes currently lacks.

Hamilton and Mercedes hold a comfortable advantage in the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships after winning the opening seven races of the 2019 season, with Hamilton claiming five victories.

The five-time world champion took his latest win at the Canadian Grand Prix after Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was hit with a controversial time penalty. Having been unable to find a way past Vettel on track during the race, Hamilton was left convinced that Ferrari is benefitting from additional power modes.

“They were so quick on the straights,” Hamilton said. “They definitely have another power mode that we currently don’t have.

“So, all of a sudden they turn up the power and he pulls away massively on the straight, even if I have DRS open.”

Mercedes lagged behind Ferrari in terms of top speed throughout the weekend in Montreal, with team boss Toto Wolff pinpointing its straight-line speed deficit to its chief rival as being worth as much as six-tenths on the straights.

Hamilton reckons Ferrari’s top speed advantage was proof that the Italian squad has now overtaken Mercedes in F1’s engine battle.

“It’s not an assumption, you’ve seen in qualifying the three tenths or six tenths whatever it is on the straights they’re able to pull up,” he explained.

“And in the race I know that all of a sudden they pick up the pace on the straights. That’s the name of the game.

“They’ve clearly done a great job with their power unit. It used to be a point where Mercedes was ahead in that area, by a big chunk, and we’ve got work to do there.

“They are ahead of us at the moment there, so space for us to work in.”

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