Lewis Hamilton followed up his fourth place in qualifying with a third place finish in the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, something he admits is overwhelming.
The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion has quite a decent weekend in Montreal, a stark contrast to his bouncing nightmare in Baku a week earlier, as he out-qualified and out-raced his teammate George Russell over the course of the weekend.
“It’s quite overwhelming honestly, to get this third place,” Hamilton revealed after the race. “It’s been such a battle this year with the car as a Team, but we continue to stay vigilant, focussed and never giving up.
“That’s something I’m so proud of and I remain inspired by my crew so thank you, to everyone who’s here in Montreal and back at the factory,” he added.
“The guys at the front are a little bit quick for us at the moment, I was giving it everything, but we’re getting closer. We’ve just got to keep pushing and pushing and hopefully we’ll be in the fight with these guys.
“I could just about see them in the end thanks to the Safety Car!” the Briton pointed out. “Honestly, our pace was quite good, particularly in the second phase of the stint.
“We did a lot of work, back in the simulator but also here to get the set up right. So honestly, I’m ecstatic. I think, as I said, I didn’t expect this coming into the weekend.
“This is my second podium of the year, and it was really special. Especially where I got my first Grand Prix win! I love it here in Montreal so big thank you to all the Canadians!” Hamilton concluded.
Russell: Our race pace was closer to Ferrari and Red Bull
George Russell had to start the race from eighth after his gamble on dry tyres in qualifying back-fired, but he did well to finish the race fourth behind his teammate, on a day where Mercedes showed great race pace.
Russell said in the team’s media brief: “I had total confidence we’d have been able to carve our way past the Haases and the Alpines.
“We were certainly concerned that Leclerc and Checo would be able to come through and we were fortunate enough to keep them behind us,” he added.
“Ultimately our race pace was closer to Ferrari and Red Bull than we’ve seen all season, but we’ve had performance issues and they haven’t.”
Russell regretted not pitting under the first Virtual Safety Car caused by Sergio Perez’s break down and said: “Everything is easier in hindsight and I probably would have liked to have pitted under the first VSC but at the end of the day, I don’t think it would have changed my finishing result.
“The pace was really strong in the first stint, on the second stint it was strong, and the final stint after the restart, I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get my tyres working.
“So that was a bit of a shame, to drop back slightly and not be in the fight. Nevertheless, P4, good points for the Team and it’s great to be back on the podium as Mercedes,” the 24-year-old concluded.
Montreal Hamilton’s happy place
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff expressed his satisfaction with the result both his drivers achieved in Montreal, a place he dubbed as Hamilton’s happy place.
“Montreal has always been a happy place for Lewis and today he was really good, with a car that was a handful so we can be quietly satisfied,” he said.
“The race pace was good, particularly when the tyres started to degrade – Max and Carlos actually came towards us and that was nice to see.
“After a bold gamble yesterday which left him further down the grid, George made smart overtakes at the start and then showed good pace to bring the result home behind Lewis.
“The past two weekends have showed the collective spirit of the team to extract a solid haul of points, even if we lack the pace to be challenging the guys at the front,” Wolff concluded.