Were Mercedes Doubtful About Lewis Hamilton Starting, Ending The Race At Canada?

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Lewis Hamilton
Motorsport

Lewis Hamilton won his fifth race of the 2019 F1 season recently. While there was hardly any dearth of drama at the just-concluded race at Canada, given the Hamilton and Vettel episode, it did seem that Hamilton won a highly-debated contest.

Lewis Hamilton standing on the top at a track where he’s won several times in the past signified utter dominance from a statistical perspective. Yet, this wasn’t any other win.

For a man who’s not only defending his 2018 championship but given his current form, stands destined to conquer yet another world crown unless something drastic were to happen, these 25 precious points were a huge gain.

On the other hand, Sebastian Vettel losing out on the win, what might have been his first of a season where Ferrari have been utterly tossed by their archrivals provided a fitting counter-narrative to round seven of the 2019 F1 season.

But, one wonders, if there was another perspective about Lewis Hamilton, particularly from the standpoint of his team? Heck, yes and a mighty one at that!

It turns out that at one stage, his Mercedes team weren’t even sure whether their five-time world championship winning star driver would even start his car, let alone finish the Grand Prix. So what exactly happened?

Toto Wolff, in an interesting assessment of Lewis Hamilton and his car at Canada, shared the following with the media. This, it must be reminded, was hitherto unknown:

What looks to be a victory was a very tough weekend for the team behind the scenes,” said Wolff. “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. Then half the team was suffering from flu, which nobody sees. It was just a matter of pushing through.

“We had the engine that blew up on Lance [Stroll]’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.”