Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton relishes victory at Montreal after a tactical blunder from his team led him to finish a disappointing third in the previous race at Monaco
Montreal: Lewis Hamilton said he needed a return to winning ways as he took the chequered flag at the Canadian GP — but stopped short of labelling his victory as a relief.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton kisses the trophy on the podium at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal after winning the Canadian GP on Sunday. PIC/AFP
The reigning world champion had missed out on a win last time out in Monaco after a late pit-stop allowed Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg to seal a second straight success.
But Hamilton, like so many times in the past, was untouchable in Montreal as he dominated a race which passed by with very little incident.
The win, the 37th of his career, moves him 17 points clear at the top of the drivers’ standings and he insisted it was simply more proof of his ability to lead from the front than any relief at getting back on the top step.
“Did I need this? I think so,” he said. “I love Montreal. I love this track, I love this city and (it’s been) really just a fantastic weekend, great to get back onto the top step. I didn’t feel I had the most comfortable balance and had some under-steer but I didn’t feel under too much pressure. It was never too serious. It was a great race.
‘Not a relief’
“I don’t feel like I needed to be (relieved) — I was quicker all of the previous race weekend. We had the problem that enabled Nico to win. It is not a relief it is good to continue with good strength. It is good that the team continue to be strong and move forwards, that is the impressive thing.”
Hamilton dedicated his victory to his team race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington and his late father. Bonnington was central to both Hamilton’s disappointment in Monte Carlo last month, when he looked certain to win but finished third, and his flawlessly controlled triumph at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Hamilton praised him warmly after his win for his “amazing” work just days after the death of his father. “I’m sure I speak for the team, too, when I want to dedicate this to my engineer Bono’s father... I know it has been a tough weekend for him, but he has been amazing all weekend and helped me win this today. So this is really dedicated to him.”
The podium was completed by Valtteri Bottas of Williams, the first non-Mercedes or Ferrari car to finish in the top three this season.
Ferrari were next up with Kimi Raikkonen fourth and Sebastian Vettel battling up from 18th on the grid to finish fifth.