On paper, the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix looked like Mercedes simply sweeping to their seventh victory in as many races this season.
But as Team Principal Toto Wolff will tell you, between fires, fuel pressure drops, hydraulic leaks, spins, crashes, hot brakes and that penalty situation, it was anything but a smooth weekend for the Silver Arrows.
Having brought their first power unit upgrade of the season to Montreal, the alarm bells first started ringing for Mercedes when Valtteri Bottas crawled into the pit lane at the end of Free Practice 1 with a fuel pressure issue.
A Mercedes, or a car powered by Mercedes, then suffered an issue in every remaining session of the weekend: Lewis Hamilton had an uncharacteristic crash in FP2 that required the replacement of the entire rear end of his car; Lance Stroll suffered a hydraulic leak and subsequent fire in FP3; Valtteri Bottas spun his W10 in the final part of qualifying, only just avoiding the wall; and then on race morning, Hamilton’s car had to be taken apart and put back together again when the team discovered a hydraulic leak on the #44 Mercedes, with the world champion’s brakes also having to be bled on the grid.
Hamilton would eventually be classified as the race winner, following the much-discussed penalty awarded to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after the pair nearly made contact on Lap 48 – but even then, the five-time champion had still been forced to manage tyre issues and overheating brakes, while there were some edgy moments for Bottas as he tried to make it past Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault and claim his eventual fourth place.