Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton says Ferrari are favourites for win after Mercedes' engine upgrade delay
"It will mean our performance is not probably the greatest," says Hamilton after Mercedes delay new engine for Canada
By James Galloway in Montreal and Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 10/12/18 4:42pm
Lewis Hamilton fears Mercedes have lost critical performance by delaying their engine upgrade at the Canadian GP, and believes Ferrari are therefore the race favourites.
Mercedes were due to introduce their second power unit of the season this weekend but were forced to shelve their upgrade package after identifying a "quality issue", with the new engine now delayed until the next race in France.
That means all six Mercedes' powered cars - including both Force India and Williams - will continue with the same engines they have used during the season's opening six rounds, and Hamilton is braced for what "might be a difficult weekend" at a power-sensitive track.
"This is a power circuit, so it was our target and it definitely would have been helpful," Hamilton, a six-time Canada winner, told Sky F1's Ted Kravitz.
"But the guys worked as hard as they could and had to take a sensible decision to not bring it here, which is definitely unfortunate, but we'll try and make do without. But it will mean our performance is probably not the greatest."
Mercedes and Hamilton have won the last three races at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, but with Ferrari and Renault set to introduce power unit upgrades the championship leader admitted: "If the others are bringing upgrades and have got fresh engines, particularly how close we are, we won't be in position to fight for the victory.
"This is a power circuit and there is power lost over an engine [life].
"All I'm hoping for is reliability. If I'm on the seventh race with a difficult circuit on engines, I want to see it through. That's my main concern.
"Naturally I'm still here to win but, as I said, if they've got upgrades on their engines, which are going to be a tenth to two tenths. Ferrari are particularly very strong on the straights, it'll be interesting to see if we are able to match them or not. But we'll give it everything, that's for sure."
Asked if Ferrari now have an advantage this weekend, Hamilton replied: "Yeah, also particularly if they do bring their upgrade with the engine."
Do old engines lose performance?
Explaining the likely effect of running with an older engine for one more consecutive race than originally planned, Hamilton said: "It will be the seventh race on the engine. The goal is to make the engine stay the same the whole way through but naturally it's degraded and you lose brake horsepower over races.
"It definitely will have lost performance and so at a power circuit it will probably be magnified."
However, the world champion believes Mercedes have every reason to maintain confidence in the power unit's reliability as he chases a record-extending 32nd consecutive points finish on Sunday.
"The engines have been proved out for a long, long way," he told reporters. "The engines are in very good shape, so we should be okay.
"I've saved a lot of mileage in all these six races already so we should be in a good position. Naturally the upgrade would have been nice, but hopefully that will come in the next race or two. Our goal is to finish every single race so I'm hoping for the reliability and I can try and make the difference on the track with my driving."
How to follow the Canadian GP on Sky F1
|Friday June 8||Sky F1 digital live blog||3pm: P1 LIVE! (Build-up 2.30pm)||7pm: P2 LIVE! (Build-up 6.45pm)|
|Saturday June 9||Sky F1 digital live blog||4pm: P3 LIVE! (Build-up 3.45pm)||7pm: Qualifying LIVE (Build-up 6pm)||8.45pm: The F1 Show LIVE!|
|Sunday June 10||Sky F1 digital live blog||5.30pm: Pit Lane LIVE||6.30pm: On the Grid LIVE!||7.10pm: The Canadian GP LIVE!|