Canadian Grand Prix a defining moment for Mercedes’ season

The Canadian Grand Prix will be a turning point in Mercedes’ 2024 season .

Toto Wolff’s post-race analysis is starting to sound all too familiar.

After every race weekend there is a pattern, a moment of reflection followed by disappointment bordering on some frustration, as the latest set of improvements have failed to close the gap on Red Bull, Ferrari and even their engine buyer, McLaren.

Although all three teams have won the last three races, Mercedes are winless since George Russell won the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix – a streak that stretches back 569 days.

Mercedes’ failure to win seemed an almost unthinkable prospect when Lewis Hamilton secured the last of his seven wins in Canada 2019.

But as F1 heads to Montreal this weekend, there is a hunch that Wolff’s rinse-and-repeat assessment – ​​without a proper review – has finally come to an end.

In Imola, he spoke confidently about Mercedes learning from its past failures; a penchant for zigzagging through design concepts prevented it from enjoying the upward trajectory enjoyed by its competitors.

However, the Austrian was now confident that Mercedes had found a winning formula in the form of updates prepared for the Canadian GP determined to improve the balance of their cars in fast and slow corners.

Instead of looking for a one-size-fits-all fix – or what he called a “miracle update”, Mercedes opted for a constant focus on incremental progress, which will now be under the microscope this weekend in Montreal.

Wolff’s optimism initially matched that of Hamilton, who tested the proposed upgrades in a simulator before the race at Imola.

Hamilton pointed out that it was Russell, who was fifth in the race, who ran the new front wing, and while it attracted headlines suggesting some displeasure between the two drivers over whether the Monte Carlo performance had improved, Hamilton said: “From my team’s perspective, yes.:

“I definitely think we’re a lot closer this weekend for some reason, it’s really nice to see.”

Now, after a series of false dawns, there is a sense that these upgrades for Canada could prove to be a pivotal moment for Mercedes’ season.

If the Silver Arrows can make it work, then it will ease the pressure on Wolff and his design team, but if it doesn’t – then perhaps Mercedes should throw in the towel and start focusing on getting everything right for 2025.