Canadian Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says he doesn’t believe he could have passed Sebastian Vettel on track towards the end of Sunday’s race.
Hamilton was given the win in Montreal on Sunday after finishing close behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. With the German driver being given a five second time penalty, it meant he was demoted to P2 behind Hamilton.
Coming at the end of what had been a very tense race up until the penalty announcement, with the gap between Vettel and Hamilton continuously fluctuating between around 4 seconds and almost nothing, Hamilton said afterwards that getting past the Ferrari on track would have been a tough ask: “[I don’t think I could have passed] Not towards the end I don’t think. I think we were all struggling with brake temperature towards the end.”
Speaking about the Lap 48 incident where Vettel went off the track and allowed Hamilton a shot at passing him, the Mercedes driver said: “My tyres were good at that point where he made the mistake, I was as close as I was ever going to be. But then obviously I got that blocking and the gap opened up again. It was just very, very hard all the way through. It’s very, very hard to follow here.”
“To me, it’s a bit of an empty feeling today. It’s been ultimately a really great race between two different teams and it ends with a bit of a kind of negative. From what I remember, I came through the corner, I was quicker at that point and I was really just trying to apply pressure to Seb. One, to try and get close enough, but two to push him into an error. It’s not too often you’re able to push a four-time World Champion into making an error but it came and at the time I was like ‘OK, great, this is my opportunity.’
“So I continued the corner as normal. Came around, and was on the line. The gap just closed, it looked like we were going to crash so I just had to brake and come off the gas to avoid a collision. Fortunately we did avoid it. But obviously that was one kind-of window. And then the gap opened up because I did brake to avoid it. And even when I heard there was a penalty I just kept pushing because I was like ‘maybe we can still have that race’.”
“It’s such a hard race to follow; the temperatures are so high; it’s the heaviest-duty track for the cars. It’s very, very physical for the car and also for the driver. It’s so easy to make a mistake, so I was really just trying to get as close as I could. The Ferrari is ultimately this weekend so strong. They were so quick on the straights. They definitely have another power mode that we currently don’t have. So, all of a sudden they turn up the power and he pulls away massively on the straight, even if I have DRS open.”