Monday, June 24, 2024

Hamilton Insists Mercedes “Are Going in the Right Direction” Following Canadian GP Podium

Lewis Hamilton was upbeat following the Canadian Grand Prix despite narrowly missing out on second place to Fernando Alonso, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team looking much more competitive than they have done in recent weeks.

The seven-time World Champion was ecstatic with Mercedes’ achievement of consecutive podium finishes for the first time this season after achieving their first double podium of the season in Spain the race before.

After finishing behind Max Verstappen in the previous race in Spain, the seven-time world champion secured third place on the grid and maintained that position until the chequered flag at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Hamilton engaged in an exhilarating battle with his Aston Martin Armaco Cognizant F1 Team rival Alonso during the race, initially overtaking him at the start. However, as the race progressed, he fell back behind Alonso and ultimately crossed the finish line approximately five seconds behind him. Verstappen, on the other hand, had a lead of ten seconds.

“It’s been a great weekend. To have this consistency and to be up on the podium once again here is fantastic. It’s quite an honour to be up on the podium with two other world champions.
“We didn’t quite have the pace today to challenge for more. We knew this wouldn’t be our strongest circuit though as we struggle in the low-speed corners in particular. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to add more performance and efficiency. We are slowly chipping away at those ahead though. I do believe we will get there at some stage and we are going in the right direction.”

George Russell: “That’s at least 12 points that we’ve left on the table today”

Credit: LAT Images

George Russell was disappointed with himself following the Canadian Grand Prix, in which he was forced to retire early.

The Briton began the race in fourth position and maintained that position while putting pressure on Alonso. However, it was Russell’s own misjudgement that led to an unfortunate incident. He ran wide over the kerbs in turn nine and collided with the wall.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is known for its unforgiving nature, and although the notorious ‘Wall of Champions’ didn’t claim any victims in the 2023 Grand Prix, turn nine proved to be a challenge. Russell had been staying within the DRS range of the Aston Martin car ahead, aiming to get close enough for a potential podium overtake. Instead, he ended up returning to the pits with a damaged front wing and a punctured rear-right tire after hitting the wall.

“Apologies to the Team. We’ve put so much hard work and effort into this weekend and a small mistake has had massive consequences. I was doing everything I could to put Fernando (Alonso) under pressure. I then ran a little bit wide and hit the kerb; next thing I knew I was in the wall. That’s at least 12 points that we’ve left on the table today.”

Russell did manage to get going again after his crash, and got himself back into the mix for points. The Kings-Lynn born driver made some nice moves, including a double overtake on Nyck de Vries and Kevin Magnussen going into turn two. He didn’t make it to the flag though, with overheating brake ducts forcing him to retire from the race.
“We did a good job after that to get back into the mix. Sadly we had an issue with the brakes which forced us to retire the car. They felt OK from my side, but the Team can see the data and could see that we couldn’t continue. I’m disappointed with the race today but there are positives we can take away. The car was quick on a circuit that we weren’t expecting to be that competitive and we took the fight to those around us. The Team is doing a great job and the future is exciting. Let’s see what the upcoming races bring.”