“I could have just driven better”: Hamilton says his F1 Canadian GP performance was “pretty shocking”

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
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Lewis Hamilton was left to rue what could have been as he missed out on his first Grand Prix podium of the 2024 season at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The seven-time World Champion took his first win in F1 at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in 2007. It looked like he could go for an eighth win in Canada on Sunday when he dominated final practice, pacing the field by almost 0.4s.

However, qualifying was bitterly disappointing as he only managed to finish P7, just under 0.3s off the pole time set by teammate George Russell. Once again strong practice form had tailed away when it mattered most.

He made up three places in the race to finish P4. Contact between Piastri and Russell at the final chicane opened the door for him to pass his teammate. Hamilton then overtook the Australian on lap 65 for 3rd, but he would be overhauled by his stablemate on lap 68.

Speaking post-race, Hamilton was left with mixed emotions. While happy with the progress Mercedes is making, he was hard on himself for the job he did.

“On one side I’m happy that we are progressing and improving. That’s the positives to take from this weekend.

“But it was a pretty disastrous afternoon yesterday, and then today the race was pretty shocking from my side. Today I could have just driven better, less mistakes.

“I can’t say I’m particularly happy with it.”

He was clear that a better qualifying performance could have set him up for a shot at the victory.

“I think if I qualified the way I should have, I would have been competing for the win.”

A second Safety Car on lap 54 saw Mercedes pit from P3 (Russell) and P5 (Hamilton) as they took the decision to go for fresh tyres. The younger Brit lost only one spot, with the 103-time Grand Prix winner staying in P5.

Hamilton wishes he had stayed on the mediums that got fitted when the crossover point from inters to dries happened 10 laps earlier.

The 39-year-old explained he was a sitting duck in the battle with his teammate with three laps to go.

“He was on the medium tyre, he was much faster.

“The medium tyre was really quick and then I went to the hard tyre and the grip was terrible.

“I didn’t know he was actually going to a medium tyre, otherwise I would have just stayed out and stay on the mediums.”

In the opening stint, Hamilton ran in P6 behind former teammate Fernando Alonso. He could not find a way past his rival, waiting until the pit stops under the first safety car to get the jump.

“Obviously I was stuck behind Fernando — there was nothing I could really do there.

“But yeah, lots of mistakes over the weekend as a whole, but lots of positives to take in terms of performance.

“Try and improve for the next race.”