The F1 season moves onto Montreal with Vettel 25 points clear in the race for the drivers title after his victory in Monaco
The circuit at Montreal should of course favour the Mercedes more than the tight streets of Monaco, where its long wheel-base made it far less nimble than the Ferrari. Whilst the Ferrari is now only marginally behind the Mercedes on non-street circuit pace the Mercedes team has a pressing problem to solve.
They have a fast car, but it doesn’t like the Pirelli tyres being used this season. The Ferrari team is able to bring the car to any track and it goes well from beginning to end – with both drivers – and that has been different for Mercedes this season so far. The Mercedes cars have struggled to generate the temperatures required to raise the ultra-soft compound tyres to their optimum performance level. Furthermore in Canada the tyre allocation is the same as the Monaco GP, which will see cars run the soft, super-soft and ultra-soft compounds.
Hamilton told ESPN this week
“It’s only the ultra-soft that’s been an issue, so that’s really what I have got to try and understand with the team this week. There’s so many different things we have got to look into to try and understand why one car could make it work and the other couldn’t,”
That said, when it is “on” the Mercedes is still the class of the field as we saw from Hamilton in Barcelona and Bottas in Sochi it has just been less consistent than the Ferrari, hence Vettel’s lead in the championship.
Montreal though is made for Mercedes, long straights put power at a premium and handling less so. They should qualify at the front and be in a postion to dominate the race. Yet the bookmakers odds reflect recency bias with Vettel quoted as 11/8 joint favourite with Hamilton.
Routinely Hamilton would have been odds on for a track such as this only two races ago and his two wins this season in China and Spain have been on tracks with long straights, power-heavy in their demands.
Hamilton has won five of the last 10 races in Canada and is confident that he can continue his dominance if Mercedes address the issues with his car. I am too, and the 11/8 with William Hill amongst others should be supported.