Technical news from the Canadian GP weekend


Formula One interrupted the European leg of the 2018 Championship season with a trip to Montreal, Canada which has been a fixture on the calendar for many decades.

Ferrari introduces upgraded engine
Ferrari introduced its second-specification power unit in Sebastian Vettel’s car. The German took a new internal combustion engine, a new turbocharger and a new MGU-H unit for Montreal.

This change follows the Monaco Grand Prix where the two Haas and the two Sauber-Alfa Romeo drivers all tried out the second-spec Ferrari power unit. With introducing the new engine in its customer teams, Ferrari could check its reliability. The new power unit is said to bring a small power gain of around 5bhp and feature a better efficiency.

But Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen does not yet have the new engine, having already logged his second V6 when he took a new example of the original spec at the Spanish GP. However, the Finn also got a new turbocharger for this event, having already used two turbochargers. It means Räikkönen used all of his turbochargers after only seven events which means he will need to exceed the limit set by the rules even if he alternates the units being still in the pool.

All Renault cars with new developments

FIA confirmed the all Renault-powered cars have taken the latest engine upgrade package for the Montreal Grand Prix. All six drivers have a new internal combustion engine and a new MGU-H and with the exception of Fernando Alonso, all Renault-equipped cars got a new turbocharger installed as well.

After his Monaco problem Ricciardo has gone back to the MGU-K that was taken out of the car for the Shanghai weekend, which means he will not trigger any penalties in Montreal.

But he is now also on the bubble with the V6 and turbo, with the next example of each that he uses creating a penalty. FIA also revealed that a seal was broken on the MGU-K of car number 03, driver Daniel Ricciardo, in order to replace a transmission fastener for a new one.

No Mercedes-powered cars took any new parts for the Canadian event after reliability woes prompted the team to postpone the introduction of the new unit which should bring an improvement of around two tenths according to the team’s estimation.

Haas limited on spare parts

Haas driver Romain Grosjean hit a marmot during the second practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix which caused excessive damage to the front of his car. The French drivers felt sorry for the animal, but also for the new developments.

The American team introduced a series of upgraded parts for Montreal, including a new front wing. Because of the tight schedule, the team has only a few examples of the new upgrades. There is only one spare part from the front wing. Grosjean was therefore upset because the marmot was spotted before the incident and it was even showed on the TV screens. The Frenchman blamed the organizers for not intervening and moving the animal away.

New gearboxes for Canada

Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen, Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc all started the Montreal Grand Prix weekend with a new gearbox after they used their previous gearbox for six consecutive events

Max Verstappen also got a new gearbox after his previous one had to be replaced for a spare one and this was before the six consecutive events expired.
Mercedes confident about its tyre management

Mercedes thinks it has found the cure for its hypersoft compounds woe it faced over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. In the Principality, the works Mercedes cars could use Pirelli’s softest compound effectively, but they had serious issues with degradation in the race. It prompted Lewis Hamilton to make his first pit stop much earlier than his rivals. His team-mate Valtteri Bottas also reached the ‘cliff’ quite early which saw his pace decreasing drastically.

Asked in Montreal, how confident the Anglo-German team is with the hypersoft compound which makes its second appearance this year, Hamilton replied: "I think Monaco was a one-off in that sense.”

"We've understood where and why our tyres didn't last and there's some fundamental things we've changed on the car which affected it. So I think we have a much better understanding coming into this weekend.