“Awesome” season-best fourth on grid reminds Hamilton of his F1 debut

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his fourth place on the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix reminded him of his first qualifying session in a Formula 1 car, where he also took fourth.

The Mercedes driver achieved his best qualifying result of the season so far in a rain-hit session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am,” said Hamilton, whose previous best this season was fifth on the grid in Bahrain and Australia.

He celebrated the result with his physiotherapist Angela Cullen, who aided Hamilton’s recovery following his excruciating race in Azerbaijan. “Me and Ange had the biggest hug at the back of the garage because we’ve both been working so hard,” he said after qualifying.

“Obviously this past week was a real challenge and I’m so grateful to have her with me every day to just work through the pain and just get my body right,” said Hamilton.

“Then to come here with the car, still we’re struggling on pure pace in the dry, we’re still a long way off. But to get top five in qualifying in those conditions is awesome.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
“I think it’s my highest qualifying this year. So it feels very similar to getting my first qualifying in Australia in 2007 in terms of the excitement.”

Hamilton tested another radical Mercedes set-up in practice yesterday and described his car’s handling as a “disaster”. He and team mate George Russell converged on set-ups ahead of qualifying.

“Yesterday was really tough,” said Hamilton. “Basically what happened is we’re trialling all these different things on the car. We had much, much different set-ups yesterday and you always are hoping one of them was right and my one was not nice to drive and that’s why I really struggled to be consistent with it.

“We come together at night and share our opinions on it and now kind of narrow it down and then before qualifying you have to decide whether to take a big wing or a smaller wing for the race tomorrow for a small potential gain in qualifying.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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7 comments on ““Awesome” season-best fourth on grid reminds Hamilton of his F1 debut”

  1. I was so impressed by Alonso’s front row I overlooked Lewis’ strong qualifying. Great job! Hopefully he can somewhat stick with the leaders. Assuming a dry race, it’s hard to see anyone touching Max but stranger things have happened!

    1. What strong qualifying? Both mercs were looking good enough for 3rd fastest team. Merc did well not to do a perez though standout must be Alonso. I’m shocked by ham’s relief. Frankly it shows he is being beaten down by his teammate. I don’t think he should care about his teammate, the team has to focus in running the car right.
      I want to see how well Hamilton is going to take this race when he things go pear shape.

      1. You must have seen different practise sessions then. And whats that dull thing about caring about his teammate, when its you obviously caring.

  2. Great qualy with the current Merc. HAM together with Alonso and both Haas achieved more, than what should be expected.

  3. Am I the only one underwhelmed by it? If George hadn’t gambled, he had showed better pace through quali and should have been ahead. Leclerc was a no show so already he’s down to 6th. If Perez hadn’t binned it, that’s 7th, although you could argue he is behind Ham on merit as he made the mistake.

    Still, I think he’s trying to put a positive spin on it. Can’t really blame him for that.

    1. I don’t know, I liked hamilton this quali session, he was 2nd 1,5 behind verstappen till almost the end too, when sainz and alonso completed their last laps, but you’re right there were competitors out like leclerc and perez, which would make his effort more ordinary.

  4. Well done Hamilton. Not at all bad when you consider, with all the testing he’s having to do, he’ll have less practice time to prepare the car with its actual qualifying setup.

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