Mercedes score on the power play


Lewis Hamil­ton and the Sil­ver Ar­rows dom­i­nate at a cir­cuit that favours en­gine strength above all else

If you needed any ev­i­dence that the com­pet­i­tive or­der of For­mula 1 is cur­rently dom­i­nated by en­gines, then the 2015 edi­tion of the Cana­dian GP pro­vided plenty. The Cir­cuit Gilles Vil­len­eve is char­ac­terised by three long straights that favour not only those units with a power ad­van­tage, but the most fuel-efcient, too.

Com­fort­ably ahead of the op­po­si­tion were the two works Mercedes, Lewis Hamil­ton tak­ing vic­tory over the 70 laps by just 2.285s from team­mate Nico Ros­berg. They were half a lap ahead of the rest, the charge led by Wil­liams’ Valt­teri Bot­tas – run­ning with a Mercedes en­gine.

Look­ing at the speed-trap gures, the real ex­tent of the per­for­mance edge for the en­gines built at Mercedes AMG High Per­for­mance Pow­er­trains in Brix­worth is clear to see. Ro­main Gros­jean’s Lo­tus-Mercedes topped the list at 211.58mph, fol­lowed by a Wil­liams, a Force In­dia and both works cars be­fore you got to Kimi Räikkö­nen’s Fer­rari in eighth. To­wards the bot­tom of the speed-trap gures were Fer­nando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda and the Red Bul­lRe­nault of Daniel Ric­cia­rdo. Both were 8mph slower at the end of the straights: a world away in F1 terms. Ric­cia­rdo, 12 months ago a pop­u­lar win­ner here, rolled across the line in a lowly 13th, proof that in the in­ter­ven­ing pe­riod the Mercedes cars have ex­tended their per­for­mance and the Fer­rari run­ners have leapfrogged Re­nault.

Sit­ting next to the shore of the Olympic row­ing strip carved out of the mighty St Lawrence Se­away, Red Bull team boss Chris­tian Horner reected on the dis­pro­por­tional per­for­mance across the eld.

“It’s just a dif­fer­ent race,” he said. “You’ve got a Force In­dia and a Lo­tus that haven’t been so high up since Mel­bourne. The power unit inuence is high­lighted more than any­where here and that’s un­for­tu­nate for us. The em­pha­sis on power unit over chas­sis and driver is signicant and very difcult to over­ride.”

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