Lewis Hamilton thanked his team for helping him achieve a second-place finish in his 300th Grand Prix.
Although a fairytale victory seemed unlikely, a podium was definitely on the cards after Hamilton got a great launch off the line passing Sergio Perez for third on the run down to Turn one with the seven-time World champion leading Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during the race’s opening stages.
That became second when Charles Leclerc crashed at Le Beausset on Lap 18, but in spite of Max Verstappen stopping just before the safety car, Hamilton couldn’t close the gap to his former adversary as he cruised home to finish second.
Shortly after the race, Hamilton expressed his happiness at securing second at a track where Mercedes struggled for outright pace.
“What a great result, considering we have been so far off all weekend and that I missed FP1. I wasn’t expecting to fight for second place or a podium, so this is a wonderful result for us. Our team has been amazing when it comes to reliability, and it shows that with dedication and focus, we can slowly make our way up.”
“We don’t have the same pace yet as the two teams at the front, but today we were able to keep one of them at bay, so a great result for us; everyone has worked really hard. Huge congratulations to the teams back at the factories and the team here. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible, and I’m proud of them. And George did an amazing job today, too.”
Toto Wolff praised Hamilton’s ability to keep the team motivated and in a positive mindset even when the eight-time constructors’ champions looked down and out.
“Lewis was fighting like a lion. He’s absolutely on it and keeps pushing the team. He keeps his positive mindset, even on grim days like yesterday, and he never stops pushing. But we need to stay humble because our car is just not good enough to fight with the teams in the front.”