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-efcient, 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 reected 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 inuence is highlighted more than anywhere here and that’s unfortunate for us. The emphasis on power unit over chassis and driver is signicant and very difcult to override.”