Long live The Silver Arrows, the Silver Arrows are dead is the cry of Toto Wolff post Canada. “The speed of Ferrari and Red Bull Racing is pretty much on our level,” proclaimed the Mercedes boss.
Lewis and Nico were both beaten into T1 by a very fast starting Sebastian Vettel at Montreal but the Mercedes Motorsport Director was quick to put some spin on the fact Lewis was able to fight for the win despite Ferrari’s rather rigid race strategy faux pas most likely the reason.
“After Monaco, Canada was another example that good teamwork pays. It could have easily been different. Both drivers lost places at the start and with the same strategy, it would become extremely difficult for Lewis to overtake Sebastian, ”
The 44-year-old Viennese asserts once again that the speed advantage of the far superior Silver Arrows has melted away after more than two years dominance: “The speed of Ferrari and Red Bull pretty much on our level. This is usually the result of stable regulations and that makes the competition tougher than ever”
Wolff cites the late duel between Rosberg and Red Bull Racing prodigy Max Verstappen as a prime example. The German tried in vain over many laps to get past the fast teenager. However, Rosberg had to fuel save at this late stage of the race as he revealed after the race in the television interview.
“It was a tough fight and the biggest problem I had was that I did not have enough fuel more. Thus, I could only attack once, then save fuel again. I was so far in the red that I really worried if I ever make it to the finish. But Max did a great job defending, very aggressive, rather at the limit, and that’s why I did not manage to pass ”
Perhaps Wolff is right and the Mercedes period of utter domination is over, the result of a natural performance convergence commonly experienced at the end period of a regs set. Perhaps we should enjoy it whilst it lasts, 2017 rule changes are around the corner and who wouldn’t bet against the financial might of Mercedes not to do dominate again?