Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

Ecstatic Hamilton says Mercedes are “getting closer” to rivals after Montreal podium

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he was “honestly ecstatic” to take his second podium finish of 2022 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

After practice Hamilton had called his Mercedes “the worst car he had ever driven” around Montreal.

However he qualified fourth, his best starting position of 2022, behind Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz Jnr. The Mercedes driver passed his Alpine rival on his way to third.

“It’s quite overwhelming to get this third place, it’s been such a battle this year with the car and as a team,” said Hamilton.

“But we continue to stay vigilant and focussed and never giving up and that’s something I’m so proud of and inspired by my crew. So thank you everyone who’s here and back at the factory.”

Despite the team putting in one of its strongest showings so far this year, Hamilton said Mercedes are still not on the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull. “They’re a little bit too quick for us at the moment.

“But we’re giving it everything, we’re getting closer so we’ve just got to keep pushing, keep pushing and eventually hopefully we’ll be in the fight with these guys.”

There were two virtual and one full safety car period during the Montreal Grand Prix, the last of which helped bunch the pack up considerably, bringing Hamilton within sight of the leaders.

“I could just about see them at the end thanks to the Safety Car but honestly our pace was quite good, particularly in the second phase of the stint. We did a lot of work back at the simulator but also here to get the set-up right,” Hamilton said.

“So honestly I’m ecstatic, I didn’t expect this coming into the weekend. It’s my second podium so this feels really special, especially where I got my first grand prix win here in Montreal.”

He also enjoyed a less uncomfortable race in his car after his painful race in Baku a week ago. “I’m back to being young,” he said.

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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45 comments on “Ecstatic Hamilton says Mercedes are “getting closer” to rivals after Montreal podium”

  1. I enjoyed the race today, I am not a fan if any if the top three. I weep for the comments we will see below

    1. @ahxshades It was fun – some exciting stuff in there this time. I agree, it’s a shame about the h a t e b o t s that swarm around on this site sometimes, just ignore them, who cares what they think. The articles on here are worth it.

      1. @biker56 – one is a fan of the sport rather than a fan of a team

        1. @ahxshades One concurs.

  2. What he had today, and he barely had all season long, was a clear track ahead to race in the true pace of the car.
    But at the end of the day he couldn’t keep up with the top 2 not even for a dozen of laps. This car is a loser.

    They should start research about a solution similar to Red Bull’s. Aston copied it and their evolution is undeniable.

    1. But it was no problem for russel scoring all the top 5s and podiums, as well as racing max in spain.

      1. different races differenr paces. HAM was much faster in spain. But dont let reality interfere with your bias

      2. Stalling Max with a faulty DRS and still finishing 30 sec behind?
        That was a strong showing for the car, indeed! Red Bull better watch their backs!

  3. The data doesn’t seem to suggest that Merc are really any closer red bull and ferrari

    1. HAM was typically 0.3-0.4s per lap slower than VER in Canada’s first stint.
      In Australia it was 0.6-0.7s per lap.
      In both they could more or less run at their pace in that stint.
      I would say Red Bull have found about 0.2s/lap on Ferrari, and Mercedes more like 0.5s/lap on Ferrari. So yes it is better, but there is quite some way to go.

      1. @tricky while I have no doubt you are presenting the correct raw data, what you possibly might overlook is the fact that gaps between cars and teams are never static during an entire season. The nature of the track, temperatures, wind, other conditions, might make it so that even without any development being done, on some tracks different cars will be closer than on other tracks.

        Wasn’t it in Baku that Mercedes were basically as far off as ever? Can’t quite remember the exact gaps but I seem to recall one of the past races there were comments coming from the Mercedes camp that they hadn’t really made any inroads at all compared to the season’s start.

        Australia might have been a track where the Mercedes just didn’t work at all (or worse than around other tracks) and so suppose you have a racing calendar where Canada was the first race of the season and Autralia the ninth (yesterday), we might have seen the same gaps on those tracks, giving the impression that Mercedes went backwards.

        Hard to say really. A single result might be a one-off or the start of a trend – we’ll have to see over the next 4-5 races whether they really are closer.

  4. Not really any closer on outright pace.

  5. not bad for an undrivable car !

  6. Russell was holding station at the end as the steady unchanging gap to Hamilton demonstrated. All so the Champ could get the podium. The Ego has landed.

    1. again making up your own reality…

    2. Russell was 1 second behind Hamilton after the safety car and he fell further behind every lap, ending up 5 seconds back. Russell was clearly slower.

    3. For once we’ve seen some good luck go Hamilton’s way.

      That opening skirmish with Magnussen, which left his front wing damage, could so easily have taken Hamilton out of the race – again.

      Russell with his first stop, clearly held the advantage untill he decided to take his second stop early, eg close after Hamilton’s second stop. Had Russell ran longer, he would again have had the luck pitting with the SC , which followed not long after his unexpectedly early stop.

      Russell has had his run of good luck, this week it was Hamilton’s turn.

      1. Yeah, that seems to be a fair view Ajaxn.

  7. Leclerc couldn’t get close to Russell over the last 15 laps and he really wanted 4th place.

    1. Leclercs mediums wouldn’t have been best tyre at once he was past the Alpines

  8. I’m glad that Lewis is happy, but what changed with the car vs last week, heck, even vs Friday?
    It all just doesn’t add up.

    1. they are trying different floors and drastic changes, especially in free practise, to collect data and learn.

      In Baku they didnt have any solution and also somehow messed up HAMs setup. Here in Montreal they obviously found a setup that works, at least to some extent. But its still miles away from RBR.

      1. To: Roman,
        Maybe Hamilton, Toto Wolff and Mercedes-Benz should take a glance back to 1955:
        ‘Another luxury these cars carried was an adjustment for the rear shockers that could be operated by the driver while the car was in motion, it consisting of a control shaped like the letter ‘T’ mounted vertically beside the driving seat. When turned through 180 degrees it reset the rear shock-absorbers for a lighter load, and this was to counteract the vast weight of fuel they carried in the tank mounted in the tail of the car. Races were still over 300 miles in those days so that it was necessary to carry 58 gallons of alcohol fuel, which is a considerable weight to have in the tail of the car. As the fuel was used and the tail of the car became lighter there was no need for the shock-absorbers to have such stiff settings, so by a series of experiments they decided at what point in the race the setting could be softened and at the prescribed time the driver merely had to turn the handle through 180 degrees and the mechanism did the rest. This was why one saw the team manager, Alfred Neubauer, hold out a signal to the Mercedes-Benz drivers, about half-way through a race, that looked like a London Transport Underground sign. It was a pictorial view of the top of the T-handle, as the driver would see it on looking down into the cockpit, and on receiving the sign he knew which control to operate.
        From A Story Of Formula 1 (1954-60) by Denis Jenkinson.
        I knew I had seen this comment before!

        1. 58 gallons of alcohol—-in those cars with the structural integrity of a soda can riding on oversized shopping cart wheels.

    2. But for the sc and vsc’s and reliability issues for two of the the top four cars they would have finished a very distant 5th and 6th. The car is still not competitive.

      1. That is how i see it too

    3. The inconsistencies you see, is based on an incomplete picture.

      Once again, Hamilton has the role of testing the latest theories and parts to improve the car. This he’s done
      consistently in the first 2 practice of each meet, leaving his third practice to set the car up for qualiying.

      Russell on the other hand contines to use his three practices sessons to get the best set up for his car.
      Totto in a recent interview made it known Hamilton was running with less rear wing for this race. I see this
      as consistent wth Hamilton relying more on ground effect to generate his down force, while Russell with
      the larger rear wing can afford to run the car that bit higher.

      Mercedes are in the position of having to use their practice sessions, and to some degrees the races,
      to evolve their theories of what is happening with the car. Their primary tester is Hamilton, who knows
      the car isn’t going to fix itself.

    4. Perez and Leclerc not being in the mix. On outright pace they haven’t progressed. It si emotion rather than facts

  9. Hamilton was lucky K-Mag didn’t take him out again with a rear puncture, just sending himself to the back of the grid again with another clumsy race start. Lewis and George did well, no doubt that they’re the best line-up out there, but I’m not convinced yet they will see a race win unless all 4 of the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers have incidents/DNFs (though that’s not impossible given their unreliability). At least Hamilton was able to drive the car by not going for a ‘radical’ setup this time round.

    1. Maybe Mercedes just have to accept that they don’t have the fastest car on the grid being hindered by tricky set up issues. They should just focus on getting that 5th place and a lucky podium here and there and not spend fridays mucking around with crazy set ups. A wise man said, pride never helps, it only hurts.

    2. Hamilton was lucky K-Mag didn’t take him out again with a rear puncture, just sending himself to the back of the grid again with another clumsy race start.</blockquote

      Ah, I was waiting for the absolute nonsense from you. Did not disappoint.

      1. just waiting for nonsensical reactions to accurate comments, and there you are

        1. @romtrain to be fair, I don’t think Magnussen was that clumsy, having just rewatched the onboards of his start. Hamilton locks up into T1 and runs a bit wide, Magnussen puts his car right next to Hamilton’s and then Magnussen is on the edge of the track going into T3 where it seems like Hamilton just doesn’t give him the space he’s entitled to and they touch.

          No big error or clumsiness by anyone really. Just a racing incident.

          1. Agree rgd. racing incident. But I dont think Mag was entitled to get more place than he did. Like in Spain he just tried too much in lap 1, and thereby again ruined his race. Luckily didnt again impact HAM, but unfortunate for Haas.

  10. Honestly, they are no closer in real terms, the result here was purely around everything else going on., Leclerc from the back, Virtual and actual safety cars ETC making it look like Merc is closer. Ver’ and Saints still walked away from them by the best part of a second per lap when pushing.

  11. They raced for 16 laps after the safety car and Ham ended 8 second behind Ver’, Pray tell, how is that “getting closer”?

  12. I must say comparing Mercedes’ reaction to a Russell P3 and Hamilton P4 in Baku with the Hamilton P3 and Russell P4 in Montreal, I can’t say they are … equal.
    Podium ceremony, Twitter.
    Mercedes, you have 2 drivers, with the same results, show them the same respect.

    1. U mean like when Perez is on podium and RBR are in funeral mode?

      If Merc reaction was different its cause at Baku they had severe bouncing problems, while in Montreal they didnt.

      But yeah, typical Merc antifan reaction to make up something, which is only true for RBR.

    2. Yes, I don’t like this difference.

  13. Magnesun needs to practice some wheel to wheel racing. Again almost destroying some1 elses race. Again destroying his own

  14. Next time, when he loses to George again, he will be crying how bad the car is.

  15. This tells me that indeed it is within the current regs that porpoising/driver discomfort can be reduced and controlled. Merc have a car that has a very narrow window of operation in finding it’s sweet spot and when they do look how enthusiastic LH is. It’s a shame it had to come to a TD but I am more convinced now than before this race that there need not be any mid-season rule changes of any great consequence, not to mention the teams wouldn’t have it in their budgets anyway. Keep calm and persist with these new cars I say. RBR have been showing the way from the start and now even Merc has shown what can be done even just from one day to the next. Let’s see this season through without interference and then let’s give the teams time to apply what they are learning to next year’s cars and I’m sure next season will tell a different story.

  16. Ecstatic that merc compromised russels strategy to ensure he finishes ahead. What a joke.

    1. what a joke is this made-up comment of yours. anti ham bias leads to pretty stupid comments

  17. It’s kinda fun to see hamilton so happy (the end team radio for example) for a 3rd place, really shows how meaningless it is when you win without competition, to the point he seems happier for a 3rd place now than victories back then, a good weekend for him at a track he’s usually good at, this year he hasn’t been convincingly stronger than russell but here for example he gained a significant time on russell in the few laps after the SC, russell was going a similar pace as leclerc, hamilton faster, while clearly the car is still not at ferrari or red bull level.

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