After spending most of 2022 and 2023 in the wilderness, 7-Time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is relishing being back in the hunt for podiums, with the Brit finishing third in the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.
Lewis was forced to relinquish P2 on lap 22 with Alonso passing. He kept touch with the Aston Martin and stopped on lap 40 for the medium tyre. Re-joining in third with a deficit of over five seconds, he began closing the gap but ultimately had to settle for the final spot on the podium.
After the race, a happy Hamilton said ‘It’s been a great weekend for us. I think we are slowly chipping away. I think the Astons took a little bit of a step ahead this weekend when they added the upgrades but we’re working on bringing some more moving forwards. But to just have this consistency and to be up on the podium here in Montréal, which is such an incredible city and we’ve got such a great crowd here every single year without fail. So big thank you to everyone here.
‘It’s quite an honour to be up there with two world champions. I was really excited to be third and just trying to be in that mix. But unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today.
‘We knew that this weekend, this wouldn’t be our strongest circuit, as we struggle in the lower-speed corners particularly. And that’s really where I was losing to Fernando and to Max, just on traction out of Turn 2, out of pretty much every corner.
‘We’ve got a lot of work to do just to add rear downforce to the car and a little bit more efficiency, but we’re chipping away as I said, and I do believe we will get there at some stage. Max was a little bit gone, but I think our pace is a little bit closer today, so we are going in the right direction.
‘It’s been a great weekend. Very difficult with the conditions but loving being in the car now with the car in a better window and a bit more on the right track. And for us to be up there, having battles with Fernando in the Aston, and being just on the second row, it’s been great. And to be on the podium, two races in a row is really, really fantastic for us.
‘We were also running fourth in Monaco, so we’re definitely getting closer. And it’s going to be a battle of development, I guess, over the rest of the season. I reckon Max’s team are already working on next year’s car, so we need to take our eye a little bit off the ball and focus on next year also but yeah, happy to be up there.’
Hamilton took his hat off to what Red Bull has achieved so far, but is ready to push and challenge for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024.
‘It’s not a frustration anymore, if it ever was.
‘You know how it is, and you know what you’re faced with, and there’s nothing I can do about their amazing performance. It’s likely that they will win every race, moving forwards, this year, unless the Astons and us put a lot more performance on the cars, or their car doesn’t finish.
‘It’s not easy with the regulations to find the amount of performance that they have, advantage-wise. They’ve got to be 30 points up on us in certain points through the lap and we’ve got some work to do.
‘But it’s not that it’s frustrating, I’m happy to firstly be back in the mix and I’m just hoping at some stage we can have it all a little bit more level so we can get back to some of the good races we had back in 2021. And to have all three of us in a super-tight battle would be sick.’