Mercedes-AMG headaches could be set to continue for the Canadian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix if the problems from Monaco are not sorted.
This time, the problem stems from the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres – Mercedes cannot seem to get them working properly.
The best examples of this are the issue the tyres caused Mercedes during the Russian and the Monaco Grands Prix.
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Mercedes-AMG’s number two driver Valtteri Bottas explained that race engineers with the team are still struggling to get the balance of the car right.
"We are struggling to get the car nicely balanced, especially in the very slow-speed corners.
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"We are struggling with the rear stability. When the rear's stable, [the car is] understeering slightly and that puts more temperature in the fronts.
"When you carry more speed through the corners you gain more temperature and energy.”
Mercedes-AMG’s issues this season are starting to become endemic.
First, there were issues with the ultra softs in both Russia and Monaco.
Then, the new race engine brought in for the Spanish Grand Prix – it developed a water leak and Mercedes had to use their ‘old’ engines.
One of the ‘old’ engines then developed a previously unseen fault, causing Bottas to retire early from the Spanish GP – wonderful!
Italian company Parelli, who have supplied all F1 teams since 2011 taking over from Japanese manufacturer Bridgestone ultra softs, are causing Mercedes trouble; they seem to work fine for Ferrari, though.
"Ferrari seems to have both of their axles always working but for us they're not really coming together at the same time. Not all the time," added Bottas.
Ferrari’s new SF70H car has been proven to handle low-energy tracks extremely well – something the Scuderia has taken full advantage of, Sebastian Vettel emerged victorious in Monaco taking a 25-point lead over Mercedes Lewis Hamilton.
Time is running out for Mercedes to find a solution to the problems stemming from Monaco, especially considering the next two Grands Prix Montreal and Baku are expected to cause the same problems.
Parelli’s F1 racing manager Mario Isola explained why the ultra softs are causing Mercedes-AMG issues and it’s due to the lack of balance at the rear of the car.
"Sochi and Monte Carlo are circuits where you need a lot of traction and you have to protect the rear, but you cannot sacrifice the front too much.
"Sliding from the rear can cause overheating, and it is a different overheating because of this smooth asphalt.
"And on the other side, you have to put some energy in the front tyres because otherwise you don't get the maximum grip.
"We will also have this effect in some other circuits, like Montreal."
Lewis Hamilton enjoys a good race record in Canada having won there five times, but the 32-year-old Brit has admitted that if he is going to add to that tally Mercedes-AMG are going to have to work very hard.
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