“One of my worst races,” says Hamilton after missing the podium

MONTREAL (AFP) Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said he had driven “one of the worst races” of his long career on Sunday when he finished fourth behind Mercedes team-mate George Russell at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton said he believed his car was capable of winning but had made too many mistakes in his 341st race, in which Russell passed him in the closing laps to snatch his first podium this year at one of his favorite tracks.

“Over the weekend, my performance was poor,” he said. “A few other things played a role yesterday, mainly myself, but today is one of the worst races I’ve ever run. Many errors.

“Of course, if I had qualified better, I would have been in a better position…

“But it is becoming a car we can fight with and that is a really positive for the next part of the season. It’s going to be a close battle and if I understand correctly, I will get better results.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on the track during the Canadian F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 9, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec. PHOTO: AFP

“I think this weekend the car was capable of winning. It is such a wonderful feeling that we will get the points and keep trying.”

Hamilton holds the joint record of seven wins and six pole positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where he achieved his first victory, with McLaren, in 2007.

Russell, who had started from the second pole position of his career and the team’s first since Hamilton’s pole position in Hungary last year, said: “This feels like a missed opportunity. We were very fast at the beginning on the intermediates and then Lando passed very quickly, but then we got back on the slicks and made a couple of mistakes, pushing the limits and paying the price.

“However, it was our first podium of the year, we had a really fast car and to be back in contention for a win, that’s what F1 is all about.”

When asked about his last two bold moves on Oscar Piastri and McLaren’s Hamilton, Russell added: “It was pretty even with Oscar and Lewis at the end. It was a tough race, but fair.

“It’s very difficult when there is only one dry line, so you have to be committed and trust your rivals.”

Team boss Toto Wolff said that despite missing out on the first win since the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in 2022, he was pleased with the team’s recent progress.

“A victory was perhaps a remote possibility or a short dream, but one should not be too greedy. The car has taken a good step forward and the direction of development is correct.”

He added that he was not sure if Red Bull had “taken a step back” but that “the most important thing” was that its performance advantage was narrowing.