Mercedes need to get their mojo back at Cana­dian GP

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THERE is a sense of ur­gency, but no panic, as For­mula One world cham­pi­ons and self-pro­claimed un­der­dogs Mercedes pre­pare to take the fight to Fer­rari at Sun­day’s Cana­dian Grand Prix.

Fol­low­ing a dis­ap­point­ing ef­fort in Monaco, where their Ital­ian arch-ri­vals swept to a one-two fin­ish, Mercedes have re­turned to a happy hunt­ing ground for Lewis Hamil­ton and Valt­teri Bot­tas.

Triple cham­pion Hamil­ton has tri­umphed five times on the is­land track, in­clud­ing the last two years, while team mate Bot­tas was on the podium at the Cir­cuit Gilles Vil­leneuve in 2015 and 2016 with Wil­liams.

“Sure we need to make the car bet­ter, quicker, faster – ob­vi­ously there is still a long way to go and no mas­sive panic,” said Bot­tas

who re­placed re­tired cham­pion Nico Ros­berg at the team in Jan­uary.

“Ev­ery bad race we have we are los­ing points to Fer­rari so for sure we need to pick up some pace, make the car bet­ter, quicker, im­prove me­chan­i­cally... any­thing is go­ing to help. Hope­fully we will be win­ning sooner rather than later.

“From the first year I came here I felt com­fort­able with the track. I can’t say it is my favourite but in gen­eral it has been good for me,” added the Finn.

If Mercedes can­not find their mojo again soon, they can ex­pect to see Fer­rari pull away at the top of both the driv­ers’ and con- struc­tors’ stand­ings.

Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel has won three of the six races so far, with Hamil­ton 25 points be­hind af­ter two vic­to­ries. Bot­tas won in Rus­sia.

“We’ve ob­vi­ously seen that Fer­rari are quick­est at the mo­ment, so they’re the favourites, but we’ve worked very hard to rec­tify the is­sues we had in the last race,” said Hamil­ton, who has also started from pole in Canada five times.

“We’ve got some unique bits on the car I think which will work well this week­end.”

Bot­tas said Mon­treal re­quired a more ag­gres­sive ap­proach than some other tracks.

“You need to be bet­ter with the tech­ni­cal sec­tions, how you take the curbs, how you take the line,” he said.

“There are a cou­ple of places where you come close up against the wall and you need to be ag­gres­sive on those.”

● For­mer Su­per­bike World Cham­pion Max Bi­aggi was badly in­jured yes­ter­day dur­ing prac­tice for a Su­per­moto race this week­end at the Sagit­tario cir­cuit near Rome, Ital­ian me­dia re­ported.

Bi­aggi, Su­per­bike cham­pion in 2010 and 2012, was flown to a Rome hos­pi­tal by he­li­copter af­ter los­ing con­trol of his bike dur­ing a test run. Italy’s AGI news agency said his life did not ap­pear to be in dan­ger, adding that he was com­plain­ing of bad rib pains. – Reuters

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