Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that Lewis Hamilton’s winning car at the Canadian Grand Prix was in “a million bits” on Sunday morning ahead of the race. Due to a hydraulics issue, the Brit’s presence in the race was in question as the Silver Arrows worked tirelessly to get it ready for Lights Out.
In qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton finished second-fastest behind Sebastian Vettel, but his preparation for the race proper was interrupted by the leak, which catalysed a race against time to make the car driveable.
Wolff says the team weren’t even sure the car could start, or even finish, the GP.
“What looks to be a victory was a very tough weekend for the team behind the scenes,” the Mercedes team principal told Autosport.
“We had a car that was in a million bits because of the hydraulic leak. We weren’t sure whether we could race it, whether it would finish the race.”
Wolff revealed that most of the Mercedes team were suffering from the flu, while they were also concerned with the engine failure that occurred in Lance Stroll’s Racing Point car, which features a Mercedes engine, which added to their troubles on the weekend.
“Half the team was suffering from a flu, which nobody sees,” the Austrian continued.
“It was just a matter of pushing through.
“We had the engine that blew up on Lance’s car, which we didn’t know if it would affect us.
“Overall it was one of the most difficult race weekends I can remember even though it didn’t look like this from the outside at all.”
Thanks to a five-second penalty given to Vettel for an incident with Hamilton during the race, the Brit was awarded the GP victory in Canada despite finishing second.