A on paper, Mercedes would have to be at the GP France be favorite. The track layout is as fluid as Barcelona. The asphalt is the same as in Barcelona. The tread of Pirelli tires is 0.4 millimeters thinner again - just like in Barcelona. And who won the Spanish GP? Right, Mercedes. It was the Silver Arrows' best performance that year. Ferrari and Red Bull had no chance.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas do not want to know that the paper version speaks for them. 'We see Ferrari as the favorite,' Bottas passed on the pressure. Hamilton confirms: “We don't think that way. There is no automatism that makes us Paul Ricard win just because we won in Barcelona. I guess that the others have learned from their mistakes. '
Sebastian Vettel can agree:' There is no reason why we shouldn't be able to cope this weekend. We have a good car. Barcelona was just a problem for us in the race. We have drawn our conclusions from this. Also when it comes to handling the tires. No matter how thin you are. “
Mercedes like the German national team
The defeat in Montreal is still having an impact at Mercedes. Nothing is guaranteed anymore. Bottas interjects: “The asphalt in Paul Ricard is not the same as in Barcelona. It has been patched in many places. And the tires aren't the same either. We use softer mixtures here. ”That is why it is not easy to jump to conclusions. Before the Canadian GP, everyone in the team believed that this race could be won. It turned out differently.
Hamilton reveals that there were several meetings in Brackley last week. Everything came on the table during the large inventory. That sounds almost like the German national soccer team after the bankruptcy against Mexico. 'We all sat down together and were critical of ourselves. It turned out that we could all have been better, including me.'
That is why the defeat of Canada hurts Hamilton so much. 'It always hurts when you have to tell yourself afterwards that you haven't pushed to your potential.' In his case, it was small setup changes after the third training session. “You caught me on the wrong foot and I couldn't find my way back.”
Spec-1 engine no problem?
Hamilton didn't want to add anything to the engine question. It is still unclear whether the Spec2 engine, which was actually announced for Canada, will be used in France: “Let's wait and see what the team will decide tomorrow. I trust your judgment. ”By the way, it wasn't so bad if he had to take the Spec 1 engine again. “That would be a fresh engine and have more power than the old models from Canada. Engine performance has never been a problem for us. ”
That sounded very different in Montreal. Hamilton complained in advance that he would be missing a tenth in the fight against Ferrari and Red Bull. And suddenly the power doesn't matter anymore?
If Mercedes had to postpone the upgrade again, that would be a handicap for another seven races. In a fight where every hundredth is at stake, that must be a disadvantage. Hamilton digresses: “We have the best team and were the most successful team of this era. Only Ferrari caught up with us. This world championship will be decided by who makes the fewest mistakes. And I have complete confidence in our boys. ”