Merc pre­pares for Mon­treal fight­back

Af­ter be­ing hum­bled by Fer­rari in Monaco, Hamil­ton and Bot­tas seek bet­ter for­tunes

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORSPORT -

MERCEDES boss Toto Wolff has tipped his team to fight back in this week­end’s Cana­dian For­mula One Grand Prix af­ter its pun­ish­ing de­feat last time out in Monaco.

The Sil­ver Ar­rows strug­gled through­out the Monte Carlo meet­ing, with Valt­teri Bot­tas and Lewis Hamil­ton ul­ti­mately fin­ish­ing fourth and sev­enth – the first time in 22 races the team failed to make the podium.

But while he con­cedes that Fer­rari must now be con­sid­ered ti­tle favourite, Wolff in­sists Mercedes have the ex­pe­ri­ence and know-how to re­cover quickly.

Wolff added that while Mon­treal’s Cir­cuit Gilles-Vil­leneuve may not be the ideal match for Mercedes’ F1 W08 car, their driv­ers’ affin­ity with the track should at least com­pen­sate in part. He also in­sisted the team will con­tinue to let Hamil­ton and Bot­tas race as ri­vals.

Mercedes have won the last two Cana­dian Grands Prix, both with Hamil­ton at the wheel. Fer­rari’s last Mon­treal vic­tory was for Michael Schumacher in 2004, but Se­bas­tian Vet­tel and Kimi Raikko­nen head there as po­ten­tial favourites af­ter their one-two for Fer­rari in Monaco.

Vet­tel leads the driver stand­ings on 129 points, ahead of Hamil­ton (104), Bot­tas (75) and Raikko­nen (67).

Fer­rari has adapted bet­ter than Mercedes to new 2017 rules which spec­ify wider tyres and wings.

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