“How are you Montreal? “Sent a smiling Lewis Hamilton to the mic after the race, responding to the crowd who were already stunned as they watched the seven-time world champion climb to the third step of the podium.
Posted at 7:28pm
The Mercedes driver achieved his second podium of this difficult season where he won his first career Grand Prix 15 years ago: at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit.
Hamilton, fourth on the grid, passed Fernando Alonso’s Alpine in 24e Lap to take third place for the first time in the race. At 45, he slipped to fourth placee lap behind his team-mate George Russell before reclaiming his place when he in turn performed a tire change.
Despite the safety car at 50e Round Hamilton was able to keep the pace to finish behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and Carlos Sainz Jr.’s Ferrari. Russell took fourth place.
“It’s very emotional to get this third place – it’s so difficult with the car this season – but we stayed focused, we always worked and I’m very proud of our team,” he said in an interview immediately after the race.
The audience gave a standing ovation to the pilot, with whom they have a special relationship. “It’s my second podium this year and I’m really happy about it, especially here where I got my first career win and where I’ve always been encouraged by the crowd,” he hinted at elsewhere.
The end of the tunnel
Hamilton is used to delivering great performances at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit. To be honest, he’s used to winning. He has done this seven times in the past. But this time the situation was different.
We know it ; Nothing is going well this season for the 37-year-old athlete, who is adjusting to his new single-seater and struggling with tremendous physical pain from porpoises – that aerodynamic phenomenon that causes vibration and violent shocks in cars.
The Mercedes star has not yet won a race. Before the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton had only managed a third place. Overall, he and Russell had just four podiums combined.
Therefore, there is no doubt that these results will be like the end of the tunnel for the team. Especially since the free practice weekend didn’t start particularly well. After the first session, team boss Toto Wolff even described the car as a “huge shit box”.
“Our pace was really good. We’re getting closer so we have to keep working, pushing and hopefully fighting with these guys again soon,” Hamilton said, pointing to the two point guards.
“Yesterday was qualifying [samedi] moved for me, he said a little later on the Sky Sports microphone. Back in the garage we thought wow this is beautiful for us. We worked so hard and to have a solid race today gives me so much hope and confidence for what’s to come. »
When asked about his back, which caused him pain in Azerbaijan last week, Hamilton replied: “I feel very good, like I’ve rejuvenated! »
The Mercedes team is still third among the constructors, 40 points behind Ferrari and 116 behind Red Bull. However, she will have home field advantage for the next Grand Prix, which will be held on July 3 at her home in England .
“We have to be careful,” said Toto Wolff on Sunday evening. There’s still so much to do to get back on track. We’re not there yet. »
However, the team boss said he was delighted Hamilton had achieved a good result. “Lewis could have achieved better results in several races. It wasn’t because he was injured, it was just bad luck. To see him on the positive side on the podium today is good to see. »