Lewis Hamilton ‘overwhelmed’ to finish on the podium in Canada
Lewis Hamilton felt ‘ecstatic’ with his second podium finish of the season as he rolled back the years to take third at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion has struggled with his Mercedes this season and has just arrived in Montreal.
The design of this year’s cars has led some teams to suffer from bouncing – known as porpoising – at high speeds, with Mercedes being among the worst.
Hamilton needed help getting out of his car after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix a week ago and needed acupuncture and cryotherapy to get to the grid.
The 37-year-old qualified fourth in the Montreal rain on Saturday and went one better in the race, earning the 184th podium of his career but only his second of a difficult 2022.
Asked about the state of his back after the race, won by Max Verstappen, Hamilton said: “It feels good, I feel young again.
“It’s quite overwhelming to get that third place, it’s been such a battle this year as a team – I’m so proud and inspired by my crew.
“They are a bit too fast for us at the moment, I gave it my all and we are getting closer and closer.
“I could pretty much see them at the end thanks to the safety car, our pace was quite good so honestly I’m delighted, I didn’t expect that to happen this weekend.
“Third place is different from a win, but I think that’s how it is. Some consistency is coming, finally. I know we can do better, I know I can do more, I just have to keep going. work.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the Mercedes’ “very strong” pace around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could see the team “a factor” at the next race at Silverstone in a fortnight.
Although he impressed here, Hamilton limited his expectations for his homecoming: “It’s great today to be in the middle of the battle and for a second at the end I was pretty much to follow these guys.
“It gave me and the team a lot of hope that there is more to come from this car, that the potential is really there if we can get the settings right. We just have to keep the head down and keep working.
“I just want to be in a battle with these guys. In the end, when the safety car came and we started again, the dream was that I could continue in this battle with them and find a way – but they were fast. We will eventually find a way.
Hamilton said the rebound that gave him such trouble on the streets of Baku was “liveable” here.
His weekend improved greatly after an attempted set-up change left him unhappy after Friday’s two practice sessions.
It was only the second time this season that Hamilton had beaten new team-mate George Russell – whose streak of top-five finishes continued.
Now the experienced Hamilton wants to pass the responsibility to Russell when it comes to testing other ways of catching favourites.
“It was just impossible to drive (Friday),” he added. “It was just an experiment to see if the car worked there and we made the changes and the car was much better balanced. It was the difference between day and night.
“We still have some rebound, it’s not going away, but it was much better than Baku with the suspension we chose.
“Maybe the second half of the season George can do the experiments. We just try to progress as a team.
“I think in the future we will be a bit more careful about experimenting too much because it really annoys you throughout the weekend.
“I think there’s a lot to learn from this weekend and improvements we can make going forward, but we had really good pace and it was so nice to see.”