Lewis Hamilton finished third whilst George Russell was forced to retire from the 2023 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix. Starting from the second row, both drivers made strong starts. Lewis vaulted ahead of Alonso off the line to take second, with George putting the Spaniard under pressure but remaining fourth.
The Safety Car was deployed on lap 12 after George hit the wall at turn nine. He continued but dropped to the back of the field; both drivers pitting for the hard tyre.
Lewis was forced to relinquish P2 on lap 22 with Alonso passing. He kept in touch with the Aston Martin and stopped on lap 40 for the medium tyre. Re-joining in third with a deficit of over five seconds, he began closing the gap but ultimately had to settle for the final spot on the podium.
George meanwhile battled gainfully following the earlier incident and was running in P8 when the Team opted to retire his car with a front brake wear issue.
It’s been a great weekend. To have this consistency and to be up on the podium once again here is fantastic. It’s quite an honour to be up on the podium with two other world champions.
We didn’t quite have the pace today to challenge for more. We knew this wouldn’t be our strongest circuit though as we struggle in the low-speed corners in particular. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to add more performance and efficiency. We are slowly chipping away at those ahead though. I do believe we will get there at some stage and we are going in the right direction.
Apologies to the Team. We’ve put so much hard work and effort into this weekend and a small mistake has had massive consequences. I was doing everything I could to put Fernando (Alonso) under pressure. I then ran a little bit wide and hit the kerb; the next thing I knew I was in the wall. That’s at least 12 points that we’ve left on the table today.
We did a good job after that to get back into the mix. Sadly we had an issue with the brakes which forced us to retire the car. They felt OK from my side, but the Team can see the data and could see that we couldn’t continue. I’m disappointed with the race today but there are positives we can take away. The car was quick on a circuit that we weren’t expecting to be that competitive and we took the fight to those around us. The Team is doing a great job and the future is exciting. Let’s see what the upcoming races bring.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO
Today’s race was an encouraging one for the Team. We knew that Canada was going to be one of the more difficult circuits for us, so to come away with a podium is a solid result. We were also not too far away from Max (Verstappen), much closer than we would have expected at the beginning of the season. The margin is still large, so we have lots more work to do. We are on a positive trajectory though and the update package clearly works well.
George was unlucky today. He hit a large kerb and tried to keep it cornering and ended up in the wall. He was pushing hard, and this car is still a little bit difficult at times. He ultimately retired with brake wear issues.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
We knew this track would be more difficult for us than Barcelona, so it’s encouraging to see that we were very close on pace to Aston Martin and Ferrari. Lewis did a great job to get on the podium today. We didn’t quite have the pace we needed to get second but when we look at the tracks that lie ahead of us, we should have a car that can regularly fight for the top-three. We’ve clearly got a bit of pace to find before we’ll be worrying Max, but the Team is working well to bring performance and is very motivated to close that gap.
George meanwhile is clearly disappointed with his mistake but we’re second in the championship because both drivers have delivered so consistently over the season. His race came ended due to a front brake wear issue; that was not a direct result of the incident but because of the traffic he faced as he battled back through the field. We know he will come back strongly in Austria, as the Team continues to push forward.