McLaren continues revival at Canadian GP as Hamilton faces huge frustration

Lando Norris took second place at the Canadian Grand Prix. Picture: Eric Alonso / DPPI via AFP.

Lando Norris took second place at the Canadian Grand Prix. Picture: Eric Alonso / DPPI via AFP.

Published Jun 10, 2024


Lando Norris and his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri delivered further strong evidence of the team's revival by finishing second and fifth behind the triumphant Max Verstappen in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.

Fifty-six years after team founder Bruce McLaren claimed their maiden win in the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix, the modern duo's result ended a decade of pointless results at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"Podium at the Canadian Grand Prix," wrote team boss Zak Brown in a social media post. "Lando P2 and Oscar P5 delivering a haul of points! Excellent skill from the drivers out there in tricky conditions. We gave the win our best shot, but luck wasn't on our side."

Norris shrugged off any disappointment he felt at not winning, having built a solid lead before the first safety car intervention when a delayed pit-stop cost him the race lead.

"It was wild. It was chaotic. It was eventful," he said. "I felt I drove a good race. I had amazing pace and then the safety car had me over, just like it helped me in Miami. But it was good fun overall.

"Things were going beautifully, but it's Montreal so there's something that comes into play - and fair play to Max, he drove a good race. It's what it is."

Piastri said: "On a weekend where things could've gone very, very wrong, coming out with as many points as possible is a great result, but we're always chasing perfection.

"So it's about just a few things we could've done better, minor things, which in a race like that would've made a big difference."

"It was very tricky, just trying to keep the car on track!"

Hamilton’s worst race in ages

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton said he had driven "one of the worst races" of his long career on Sunday 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...

"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."

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.