09 June 2024

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton unhappy with performances in Canada

09 June 2024

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

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

Ultimately Russell claimed the team’s first podium of the season, behind winner Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, passing Hamilton in the closing stages to finish third.

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

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

“So I can’t say that I am happy with it. I would say that I am happy we are progressing and that is the positive I take from this weekend.

“George was on a much quicker tyre at the end, he was on the mediums and I was on the hards. I didn’t know he was going to mediums or I would have stayed out.

“I had to just drive better today, less mistakes. Lots of mistakes over the weekend over the whole but positives to take in performance.”

Russell apologised to his team after moments where he ran wide and also had a late clash with Oscar Piastri.

“Few mistakes at key moments which cost us fighting with these two (Verstappen and Norris) at the end of the race,” Russell said.

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

Despite feeling there was more Mercedes could have achieved in Canada, Russell is delighted with the team’s progress after securing their maiden podium of the campaign.

“I think we had really great pace. I think Red Bull have struggled a bit with their car the last couple of races so we need to see their performance in Barcelona,” Russell added.

It was a pretty disastrous afternoon yesterday and today the race was shocking

“But the pace increase from us this weekend was not a surprise to us, the numbers back at the factory told us we were making a step forward with these upgrades.”

Rain before the race meant it started in wet conditions and there were plenty of drivers struggling for grip.

Norris had surged past Verstappen and Russell to take the lead when Logan Sargeant hit the wall to trigger a first safety car, where the Dutchman managed to get the jump on the disadvantaged British driver to regain the lead.

It was role reversal from Miami, where Norris had benefited to claim his maiden win.

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

“It is a lot of fun to drive these kind of races every now and then. Not all the time because it is too stressful!” Verstappen said.

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

“It (the safety car) sometimes works for you and sometimes works against you and this time it worked for us. I guess in that sense it is 1-1 now this year!”

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