D Thursday is the PR day before a Grand Prix . auto motor und sport will find stories and rumors for you in the paddock. We ask the engineers what is new about the cars and the drivers how they rate the race. Here is our foray through the ten garages.
Mercedes drives with the old engines. On Tuesday, checks when assembling the crankcase showed a deviation of 0.02 millimeters from the required value for one component. Then it was decided to do another race with the Spec-1 engine. While Lewis Hamilton fears that he will not be able to fight for victory against Ferrari and Red Bull with their engine expansion stages, Valtteri Bottas sees it positively: “Our old engine is not a bad engine.” Mercedes expects an increase in horsepower from the new specification in the single-digit range.
Sebastian Vettel did not reveal much about the Ferrari upgrades: 'We will unpack everything we have and then see if it is enough.' The Spec 2 engine is a well-known size. HaasF1 and Sauber have already tried it in Monte Carlo. Kimi Räikkönen still drives with the old material because he was forced to switch to the second drive unit in Barcelona. No major aerodynamic changes are to be expected, just like with Mercedes, by the way.
No penalty for Daniel Ricciardo. For now. The MGU-K from China is used in the number 3 car. Only the engine, the turbocharger and the MGU-H are new. “A small step forward. It may bring us closer to Mercedes and Ferrari in Q3, but not past it, ”fears Max Verstappen. The Dutchman no longer wants to talk about his series of accidents: “Don't always ask the same questions! I'm looking forward. ”
Small upgrade in Montreal, big upgrade in 14 days in Paul Ricard. This time Force India only applied small retouches to the diffuser. Operations manager Tom McCullough expects more work with the hypersoft tires than in Monte Carlo. “The tires here in Montreal were already graining last year. We have known since Monte Carlo that Hypersoft is particularly prone to this. It will be a challenge to keep the tires alive in the race. We expect increased wear and tear, especially at the rear. ”
The layout of Montreal is similar to Baku. Long straights, short curves. That shouldHide some problems from Williams. The drivers lack confidence in the car because the balance is constantly changing from braking to accelerating. The longer the curve radius, the bigger the problem. Williams continues to work on front wings and baffles to keep the bad air from flowing under the car. Local hero Lance Stroll is confident that things are going better than before: “We know what went wrong in Monte Carlo.” The Canadian has his own grandstand in Montreal. Exit the hairpin.
Renault is bringing new baffles for the third time in a row. Front and rear wings have been adapted for Montreal. “They lie between the versions of Barcelona and Baku,” explains operations manager Alan Permane. Of course, there is also the B-Spec of the engine. “A small step forward, but one that won't change the world,” says Nico Hülkenberg. More striking is the Rhinelander's new haircut, including bleaching for 120 euros. 'Makes me three tenths faster,' grins Hülkenberg.
Honda is bringing a completely new combustion engine. The numbers promise clear progress. With good traction, Toro Rosso should also be strong in the chicanes. “Up until now we were limited on some routes. If the engine upgrade delivers what we promise, it should deliver more consistent performance from now on, ”hopes Brendon Hartley. Montreal is new territory for the New Zealander. 'I drove a lot of the simulator and landed a couple of times in the Wall of Champions,' grins Hartley.
Finally the big aero upgrade is here. The front wing, the entire underbody, the side boxes and the guide plates are new. HaasF1 prays that the flow straighteners will finally stop falling off the car. Problems arose again in Monte Carlo. The team had to dismantle some parts. That cost 20 points of downforce.
McLaren has modified the rear wing, the brake ventilation and the underbody. There is also more power from the engine. Fernando Alonso doesn't think that much will change: “We'll probably end up somewhere between 7th and 12th place again.”
Charles Leclerc is confident that Sauber will be back in Montreal can fight for championship points. Downforce doesn't play such a crucial role here as it does in Monte Carlo. And the turns are slow. This is where the Sauber can display its good mechanical grip. “It should work better on paper than it did in Monte Carlo. We also have a few new parts. The difference to the last three tracks on the calendar is that I don't know the Montreal track yet. But I often drove to Montreal on the Playstation. ”