George Russell and Lewis Hamilton unhappy with performances in Canada

George Russell lamented an “ugly” Canadian Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton said his race was “shocking” as Mercedes lamented a missed opportunity.

The Silver Arrows have been making progress in recent weeks and showed blistering pace at times in this weekend’s changing conditions, with Russell taking pole and both cars looking fast throughout the race.

In the end, Russell took the team’s first podium of the season, behind winner Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, overtaking Hamilton in the closing stages to finish third.

Both appeared to be in battle for victory in an action-packed race that featured two safety cars and frequent periods of rain, but both drivers were critical of their performance.

Lewis Hamilton was frustrated by mistakes
Lewis Hamilton was frustrated by mistakes (Jacques Boissinot /The Canadian Press via AP)

“Yesterday was a pretty disastrous afternoon and today the race was shocking,” said seven-time world champion Hamilton.

“So I can’t say I’m happy with it. I would say I’m happy we’re making progress and that’s the positive I take from this weekend.

“George was on much faster tires at the end, he on the medium ones and me on the hard ones. I didn’t know he went to mediums or I would have been left out.

“Today I had to drive better and make fewer mistakes. “A lot of mistakes during the weekend in general, but the performance is positive.”

Russell apologized to his team after moments where he went astray and also had a late clash with Oscar Piastri.

“A few mistakes at key moments that cost us a fight with these two (Verstappen and Norris) at the end of the race,” Russell said.

“Those last three laps I was very focused on getting back to the podium because I felt like I let the team down a little bit, losing sight of Max.”

Despite feeling Mercedes could have achieved more in Canada, Russell is delighted with the team’s progress after taking its first podium of the campaign.

“I think we had a great rhythm. “I think Red Bull have had problems with their car in the last few races, so we need to see their performance in Barcelona,” Russell added.

“But the increase in pace we made this weekend was not a surprise to us, the numbers at the factory told us that we were taking a step forward with these improvements.”

Pre-race rain meant the race started in wet conditions and there were many drivers struggling for grip.

Norris had overtaken Verstappen and Russell to take the lead when Logan Sargeant crashed into the wall to activate a first safety car, where the Dutchman managed to overtake the disadvantaged British driver to regain the lead.

It was a role reversal in Miami, where Norris had benefited to get his first victory.

Max Verstappen achieved his sixth victory of the season
Max Verstappen achieved his sixth victory of the season (Christinne Muschi/The Canadian Press via AP)

As the rain came and stopped and despite a second safety car and a constant threat from behind, Verstappen held on to win his sixth race of nine this season and extend his championship lead to 56 points.

“It’s a lot of fun to run these types of races from time to time. Not all the time because it’s too stressful!” Verstappen said.

“I had a lot of fun today. As a team we made the right decisions today and that is very important.

“(The safety car) sometimes works for you and sometimes against you and this time it worked for us. I guess in that sense we are 1-1 this year!”