Lewis Hamilton has been given a huge confidence boost after overcoming a tough start to the weekend to finish third in Canada.
The seven-time world champion was left venting his frustration after Friday’s second practice session as Mercedes’ struggles reared their head again but turned that around to qualify fourth the following day.
Hamilton then managed to bring his car home in third in Sunday’s race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for only his second podium finish of 2022 so far and his first since the opening round of the year in Bahrain and cut a much happier figure afterwards than he had two days earlier.
The women and men back at the factory are working hard weekend in, weekend out and it’s so difficult for us all working and working and not always seeing progress,” Hamilton said.
It’s been such a difficult year for me personally in terms of the car. Qualifying was emotional for me and back in the garage we were like ‘wow, this is beautiful for us’.
“Then to have a strong race just gives me so much hope and confidence going forwards.”
Hamilton’s third place followed him finishing fourth in the previous round in Azerbaijan and the 37-year-old is noticing incremental increases in the team’s understanding of how to get the best out of the troublesome W13.
But while he has been given a timely confidence boost ahead of racing on home soil at the British Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, he cautioned there is still more to be done to ensure the team can find that sweet spot in the set-up for Silverstone.
“There is potential in this car, but it’s got a really small working window and if you don’t get it perfect it’s all over the place and that’s a really hard thing to navigate through, but the team did a great job this weekend,” Hamilton said.
“I’ve had a fourth and a third now, so I’m definitely grateful and know I can do more, and I’ve just got to keep working.”
Hamilton was followed home by team-mate George Russell in fourth, with his fellow British racer maintaining his record of being the only driver to finish in the top five in every race so far this year.
Team principal Toto Wolff was naturally delighted with the performance of both of his drivers in Canada and believes the team now have an understanding of how to develop the car over the remainder of the season.
“They were both very good and they were on different set-ups and different rear wing settings,” Wolff said. “We showed some pace today.
“The way forward, we just need to develop the car in a different window than we had. We were having it really low on the ground and clearly that doesn’t function.
“I think we have development direction. We didn’t get it right in many areas, but we own the problem, and we need to fix it.
Russell, meanwhile, felt Mercedes are still some way off frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari, but was satisfied with both his and the team’s results in Montreal.