MONTREAL, June 10 — Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton said he had driven “one of the worst races” of his long career yesterday when he finished fourth behind Mercedes team-mate George Russell in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton said he believed his car was capable of winning, but that he had made a lot of mistakes in his 341st race, in which Russell passed him in the closing laps to snatch away his first podium finish this year on one of his favourite tracks.

“Over the weekend, it’s a poor performance from myself,” he said. “Some other things came into it yesterday, mostly myself, but then today, it’s one of the worst races I’ve driven. Lots of mistakes.

“Of course, if I qualified better, I would have been in a better position...

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“But it is becoming a car we can fight with and that’s a real positive, going into the next part of the season. It’s going to be a close battle and if I get my head on right, I’ll get better results.

“I think this weekend the car was capable of winning. That’s such a great feeling so we’ll take the points and keep on trying.”

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton races during the 2024 Canada Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal June 9, 2024. — AFP pic
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton races during the 2024 Canada Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal June 9, 2024. — AFP pic

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Hamilton holds the joint record of seven wins and six poles at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where he claimed his maiden victory, with McLaren, in 2007.

Russell, who had started from the second pole position of his career and the team’s first since Hamilton’s pole at Hungary last year, said: “This feels like a missed opportunity. We were really quick at the beginning on the inters and then Lando came through really fast, but then we jumped back onto the slicks and made a couple of mistakes, pushing the limits and paid the price.

“Nevertheless, it was our first podium of the year, we had a really fast car and to be back in the mix fighting for a victory, that’s what F1 is about.”

Asked about his two late bold passing moves on McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Hamilton, Russell added: “It was pretty tight with Oscar and Lewis at the end. It was hard, but fair racing.

“It’s so difficult when there’s only one dry line, so you have got to be committed and trust your rivals.”

Team boss Toto Wolff said despite missing out on a first win since the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in 2022, he was satisfied with the team’s recent progress.

“A victory was maybe a long-shot, or a short dream, but you must not be too greedy. The car has made a good step forward and the development direction is true.”

He added that he was not sure if Red Bull had “made a step backwards” but that “the most important thing” is that their performance advantage was shrinking. — AFP