Lewis Hamilton was visibly overjoyed after he managed to qualify in P4 for the Canadian Grand Prix. Afterwards, the Briton thanked his physiotherapist and assistant Angela Cullen for all the work she has been doing with him to help him overcome the pain he is feeling due to incessant bouncing of his car.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am!” Hamilton said.
“Me and Ang [Angela Cullen] had the biggest hug at the back of the garage, because we’ve both been working so hard, and then obviously this past week was a real challenge.
“And I’m so grateful to have her with me every day to just work through the pain and get my body right and then to come here with a car still we’re struggling.
“We know on pure pace in the dry we’re still a long way off. But to get top five in qualifying in those conditions is awesome.
“I think it’s my highest qualifying this year. It feels very, very similar to getting my first qualifying in Australia in 2007 in terms of the excitement.”
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Lewis went on to describe the problems he has faced due to an imbalance between brake temperatures.
“It was difficult for everyone. I also had big wheel separation of my brake discs. So one brake disc higher than the other, so the other one can pitching.
“So luckily I was able to fix that on the out lap. We didn’t do like our full mode, because we were doing consistent laps. So I think there was a little bit more time in it.
“But at the end my tyres were kind of up. As I was doing the in-lap I knew everyone else was on a lap and I was, ‘Ah Jesus, please!’”
Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell had opted to do his last run on slick tyres, even though the track was still pretty wet. The gable didn’t pay off, and Lewis says he was also considering this option.
“It was definitely a consideration. I think it was drying quite quick. And there were definitely some points of the track which were looking to be dry.
“But for me, it felt too big a gamble, especially with this temperature. So I we decided to stay on the inters.
“And actually I think it was the right way. I think it still needed maybe another 10 minutes maybe or so before it went to slicks.”
During Friday’s free practice sessions, Lewis was very much off the pace of his team-mate George Russell, but he explains there were changes made to his car overnight, which improved its performance.
“Yesterday was really tough. Basically what happened is we’re trying like all these different things in the car, hole in the floor and all sorts.
“We have much, much different set-ups yesterday and we always were hoping one of them was right. And my one was not nice to drive!
“And that’s why I really struggled to be consistent with it. Then we come together at night, we share our opinions on it, and we’ve now kind of narrowed down.
“And then before qualifying we had to decide whether we take a big wing or the smaller wing for the race for a small potential gain in qualifying.
“That’s the direction George went, and I’ve prepared for tomorrow. So I’m hoping it’s the right one, and gives me the best race car for tomorrow,” the Briton concluded.