Hamilton’s Canada podium especially satisfying after run of “bad luck” – Wolff

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton’s return to the podium in last week’s Canadian Grand Prix was especially deserved after the misfortunes he suffered earlier in the season, says Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

His third place finish in Canada was Hamilton’s first trip to the rostrum since the season-opening race in Bahrain. Wolff said his driver has lost out due to factors beyond his control in the meantime.

“There were a lot of races that worked against him where he could have scored a podium or a much better result and it was not his wrongdoing, but [simply] bad luck,” said Wolff. “Seeing him now on the positive side and being on the podium without anything in a way gifted, that’s good to see.”

One such misfortune occured to Hamilton in the Australian Grand Prix. He lost a position to George Russell, who unlike his team mate was able to make his pit stop during a Safety Car period, losing less time. A similar situation unfolded in Miami, which gave Russell the opportunity to fit fresher tyre and attack and overtake his team mate.

Hamilton also missed an opportunity to make a stop pit after the team told him on the radio to come in during a Virtual Safety Car period at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. In Spain he tangled with Kevin Magnussen on the first lap of the race and had to pit due to a puncture.

Third place for Hamilton in Canada, with Russell fourth, matched the team’s largest points haul of the season so far. Wolff said the team was “very happy” with the gains they have made but admitted the reigning constructors champions are still well short of where they should be.

“We’ve scored five podiums and we’ve seen glimpses of performance that we have but it’s far away from our own expectations on ourselves,” he said.

“So I think you need to take a podium as a good result and especially on merit. I’m happy for Lewis because he was really disadvantaged in some of the races where the Safety Car, for example, went against him. So everybody’s in a good space but still, as I said before, lots of work to do.”

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2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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21 comments on “Hamilton’s Canada podium especially satisfying after run of “bad luck” – Wolff”

  1. I thought Wolff wasn’t happy with podiums that came from other people’s reliability and problems?
    That’s what he said when Russell finished 3rd in Spain…

    1. I suppose that a lucky podium after all that bad luck he describes almost feels as okay @eurobrun :)

  2. Wolff is in a psychological prison of his own making. Everything for him seems to be Hamilton related, everything relating to Hamilton represents an excellent performance and it is only bad luck which holds him back.

    That, of course has an obverse, that everything related to Russell’s better performance is through good luck and he has nowhere near the quality of Hamilton.

    Wolff is leading himself and the whole team on to dangerous ground of mindless support for the Ego..

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      24th June 2022, 9:03

      I can’t think of a smoother integration to a team than Russell’s. Hamilton has been with the team for nearly a decade and will naturally receive special treatment as they have written history together. I think Toto is doing a fantastic job with both drivers.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      24th June 2022, 9:27

      I think a lot of that is down to the drivers just being very different people. Russell is very level headed and just gets on with the job – he doesn’t need Toto to make comments to keep his head in the right place. Hamilton is much more emotionally erratic… If the car is bad, it’s the worst car he’s ever driven in his life. If he has a good finish, it’s an incredible moment that reminds him of his first ever win. If he has a bad start to a race, his mind goes to retiring the car…. I think Toto has worked with him long enough to know that he needs a metaphorical arm around his shoulders so he is really protective of him in the media and spins every situation to compliment Lewis.

      I don’t think Russell will care at all about what Toto says in the media. Before this season, pretty much everyone agreed that his goal this year should be to integrate himself into the team and to try and keep up with Lewis – be a useful number 2 driver. As it is, he’s been better than Lewis so far so he’ll be delighted with how things have gone.

    3. Indeed, I mentioned Sunday also that the reaction of the Mercedes team to Hamilton’s 3rd place was quite more enthusiastic then to Russell’s 3rd place a week before. In the paddock and on Twitter.

      Lewis is still a great driver, but still a bit insecure I think

    4. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…”

    5. Well said Witan!

  3. Strange words of Wolff.

    Was it all bad luck really?

    Hamilton also missed an opportunity to make a stop pit after the team told him on the radio to come in during a Virtual Safety Car period at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

    Only the tangle with Magnussen could be seen as bad luck, even though such things do happen in F1 on the first lap.

    So I think you need to take a podium as a good result and especially on merit.

    Merit? Leclerc starting last, Perez didn’t finish. A Mercedes was always going to be 3rd, either Lewis or Russell who started 8th.
    I would think Verstappen, Leclerc and Perez had a lot of more bad luck already. And no, having the third best car is not bad luck.

    1. That isn’t bad luck just a bad car design i think Toto should fix his problems first before he can talk about bad luck Charles and Max had bad luck Mercedes was just slow.

  4. Welcome to the world of midfield F1, Toto!

    Sneaking a 3rd due to the unreliability of others. Maybe even a 2nd if you get lucky with the timing of a pitstop under a safety car. Who knows, you might even luck to a 1st on a wet track if you make the right call on tyres before everyone else.

  5. Lol, Mercs were lucky to get podium with Charles penalty and Checo DNF.

  6. being on the podium without anything in a way gifted

    Did he miss that Leclerc started from the back and that Perez DNFed?

    HAM drove a fine race, but I’m quite sure he wouldnt have finished on the podium with those two still in the mix.

    1. Conversely if Red Bull and Ferrari were able to build reliable cars, they’d have been 3rd and 4th on merit. It’s not as though they were innocently taken out by a rogue cosmic wave.

      P3 and P4 were earned on merit by Mercedes and its drivers.

  7. Wolff is not a good Team leader, a good one will have unbiased views and expressions for his team as a whole. As a motorsport fan who respects the Mercs this is disappointing.

  8. He’s a terrible team leader. Eight constructors championships attest to this.

    1. @greenflag
      Wolff collected other people’s work and kept bragging about it. Mercedes group already brought and invested heavily in a championship winning team Brawn GP. Ross Brawn and Norbert Haug restructured the team and started recruiting tens of technical directors not to mention engineers. Bob Bell, Aldo Costa, Paddy Lowe… Niki Lauda joined in September 2012 and was behind convincing Lewis Hamilton to join the team.

      Ross Brawn management has already brought results with the underestimated Mercedes W04 which was the outright fastest car in the first half of 2013 but was a tyre eater. Hamilton and Rosberg scored 8 pole positions and 3 race wins in the first half of the season and Mercedes finished 2nd in the WCC.

      Mercedes gave up the development of the W04 earlier in the season to fully concentrate on the 2014 project while RBR kept developing the RB9 till the last race in the season. The Mercedes W04 was “the first car to have everything done the right way,” as described by Mercedes chief designer John Owen.

      Another key of Mercedes dominance in the hybrid era is their mastery of the V6 hybrid power unit formula. Not only the PU but all the foundations of a championship winning team were laid off before even Wolff has joined Mercedes. He has already been exposed last year, he was behaving like a sour toddler (breaking his headphone, swearing to the camera…) whenever things were not going his way.

      1. and kept bragging about it

        Wait – what? When did this bragging happen? Seriously tifoso – if you think keeping an organisation in such a competitive environment at the top for 8 years regardless of how you found it is that simple, then you probably haven’t seen much of the real world.

        1. Emma,

          Wait – what? When did this bragging happen?

          Wait – what ? Haven’t you ever came across those boring articles/ podcasts/ corporate videos in which Toto is giving lectures. There are plenty of them on Youtube and LinkedIn : Leadership Lessons with Toto Wolff, Leadership Styles blablabla…

          You seem to ignore the fact that for the first 3 years 2014-2016 no one was allowed to compete against Mercedes due to the stupid token system. In 2019 there was a rule change that took an advantage RBR and Ferrari have had over Mercedes with regard to their front wing designs and Ferrari were caught by the FIA at the end of the year with their PU and paid for it in the next 2 years. RBR were did have serious issues with their car in 2020. 2021 was the first year Mercedes faced serious competition.

          1. And he does those videos because he’s regarded as one of the greatest leaders in sport today. Stop the bs that he isn’t a great team principal, you don’t win 8 consecutive constructors championships without being a great leader. I have no doubt that the top engineers at Mercedes would also give their full confidence in Wolff’s leadership abilities. Downplaying his achievements is just ridiculous, his team did this all on merit and most F1 teams already have funding and past car development before a principal comes in. Strange how they only started winning once Wolff became team principal…and that lasted 8 years man!

  9. @peterbawldwin so yet again lewis is an unstable emotional person where as russel is solid like stone emotionally… What happened to wearing his heart on his sleeve? Lewis explains on the day the scenario. How is that bad? Anything to put Lewis down hey? Russel has himself said many timea Lewis is a hard worker pushing the team on. Trying to find more performance. He did not say Lewis is like a kid throwing all his toys out the cot.

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