Mercedes says it ran its Formula 1 engines as hard in the Canadian Grand Prix as it did at the start of their seven-race cycle at the Australian Grand Prix.
Mercedes was the only manufacturer to have run the same engines in its works and customer cars for the whole of 2018 thus far, after plans for the introduction of an upgrade for Canada were postponed due to reliability issues on the dyno.
That meant the engines had to do their seventh race in Montreal – a track where power counts and engines have to work hard – when the original intention was to bring them back for Hungary, where they would be less stressed.
However chief strategist James Vowles says that made no difference to how hard Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were able to push them.
“In terms of what happened in the race with Valtteri and Lewis, both of them drove the power unit as they did in the first race,” Vowels said in a Mercedes video clip.
“There was no additional management, no additional switches, or modes or turn-downs, we were effectively using the power unit to its full benefit.
“What happened with Lewis was an entirely unrelated chassis cooling event, nothing to do with the engine itself.
“And you saw with Valtteri he was able to use it with good effect, second in qualifying and maintaining that second in the race.”
Vowles says Hamilton did a good job of dealing with soaring temperatures in the opening stint.
“We had on the chassis side a cooling issue that appeared very, very early on in the race, it appeared during the safety car,” he said.
“We tried a number of counter measures, both through switch changes that Lewis was able to complete for us, and through driving style, so Lewis was really adapting to the situation as best he could, to stabilise and keep the temperatures under control.
“Lewis did a good job, and we were able to get somewhere reasonable in the first stint of the race, but we were still too warm.”
Vowles added the change made in the pits – when two mechanics adjusted the cooling inlet louvres on either side of the cockpit [pictured above] – worked.
“We knew that we had various elements in our cooling configuration that are removable,” he said.
“There are two losses here, the first is that during a pit stop itself you’re asking the guys to do a fairly complex job in a short space of time.
“The second is that the car, as it goes back on track again, is in a slightly different aerodynamic configuration, simply because panels that were there have been removed.
“The guys did a fantastic job, and by the time the guns came back on to put the wheels back on again they were removing their hands from the car.
“How much slower was the car out on track? It was a matter of a few milliseconds from what we did with the cooling change.
“But more importantly, it gave us the ability to use more of the power unit performance and gave Lewis a car that now wasn’t struggling like it was in first stint of the race, so he could go back and attack others.”