Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team’s weekend in Montreal was achieved against a backdrop of multiple worries for the manufacturer.
The Canadian Grand Prix had everything-from crashed and controversy to overtaking and offence in what was one of the most exciting races of the season.
Sebastian Vettel’s contentious penalty stole all of the headlines after the race but there was plenty more happening around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Vettel was the first driver across the finishing line at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix – but he did not win the race.
Lewis Hamilton won the race in Canada, however, Hamilton was the last driver to lose a win due to a post-race penalty. Vettel is 12th driver to lose a race he ‘won on the road’.
“What looks to be a victory was a very tough weekend for the team behind the scenes,” said Wolff. “We had a car that was in a million bits because of the hydraulic leak. We weren’t sure whether we could race it, whether it would finish the race. Then half the team was suffering from a flu, which nobody sees. It was just a matter of pushing through. We had the engine that blew up on Lance [Stroll]’s car, which we didn’t know if it would affect us. Overall it was one of the most difficult race weekends I can remember even though it didn’t look like this from the outside at all.”
Hamilton was relentless in his pursuit of the Ferrari driver, and his efforts also put Wolff on the edge.
“I think he wanted to make a point that he would have been able to overtake him on track and say ‘I’ve won the race on track’, rather than win with the five-second penalty,” said Wolff. “This is what he was trying to achieve. I knew that. I was not [comfortable] because the brakes were overheating. But I think it was a racer’s behaviour and a racer’s decision.”