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Mercedes unsure it was quick enough to beat Ferrari on pace

Mercedes says it cannot be sure it would have had the pace to beat Sebastian Vettel in the Canadian Grand Prix if the German had stayed on a one-stop strategy at the front of the field.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and team mate Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid at the start of the race
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme with Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
(L to R): Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 and race winner Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari celebrate on the podium
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid celebrates at the end of the race
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H

Vettel led the early stages of the race in Montreal but elected to go for a two-stop strategy when Jenson Button's retirement briefly brought out a Virtual Safety Car.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his outfit was well aware that a two-stop strategy was slightly faster, but suspects that Ferrari would have had a better chance of winning by holding on to track position.

When asked if it would have been hard for Hamilton to overhaul Vettel if it had been a straight fight on track, Wolff said: “Yes, it would have been more difficult.

“You could see the top speed of the Red Bull, and the Ferrari is pretty much where we are. It is what we have been saying all these years – just leave the rules alone and performance is going to merge.

“It is happening right now - so it's good we are changing the rules for next year! But yes I think it would have been difficult [to get past Vettel]. He drove really well and the gap between the cars was too little today to make a difference.”

Ferrari victory

Wolff thinks that the engine and car upgrades that Ferrari have delivered in recent races have put the Maranello outfit in firm contention for regular wins now.

“If you see the long term development slope of Ferrari, they get better each race,” he said. “They had some bad luck at the beginning of the season, but this weekend again you could see that the Ferrari is capable of winning races.”

Wolff said that Mercedes was not standing still though, and had pencilled in a decent development step for the British Grand Prix next month.

“We will push hard,” he said. “We will have an aero upgrade already for the British Grand Prix and engine wise, everybody is really working hard in order to bring performance that is necessary.”

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