Lewis Hamilton was ecstatic with fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Coming into Formula 1’s second North American rendezvous of the year, the seven-time World champion’s highest starting position in 2022 had been fourth in Spain, and with Mercedes struggling to find any form in Practice, it looked set to be a problematic Qualifying session.
But with rain washing away any grip from Friday’s Practice sessions, Mercedes were back in contention, and on his final set of runs in Q3, Hamilton jumped up to second before being eventually shuffled back to fourth on the grid, his best Qualifying result since late May’s Spanish Grand Prix.
During the post-session media scrum which MotorLAT attended, Hamilton was ecstatic with his team’s efforts as he looked forward to what looks set to be a dry race.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am, me and Ange (Cullen) had the biggest hug at the back of the garage because we’ve been working so hard, and obviously, this past week it was a real challenge, and I am so grateful to have her with me every day to just work through the pain to get my body right and to come here with the car where (we are) still struggling for pure pace in the dry were still a long way off but to get top five in qualifying in those conditions is awesome. It feels very similar to my first Qualifying in Australia in 2007 in terms of excitement.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell gambled on a drying track pitting for a fresh set of slicks late on in the final part of Qualifying as the track began to dry rapidly. But the gamble didn’t pay off, and Russell could only manage eighth on the grid after failing to improve.
Mercedes had considered putting Hamilton on the slicks, but in the end, the team decided to keep the Brit out due to the cold ambient temperatures.
“For sure, it was definitely a consideration. I think it was drying quite quick, and there were definitely some points of the track which were looking to be dry, but for me, it felt too big of a gamble, especially in these temperatures, so we decided to stay on the inters and naturally I think it was the right way. I think it needed another ten minutes maybe or so before it went to slicks."