CANADA: In a surprising turn of events at the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, made a candid admission to his former title rival, Max Verstappen.
In the cool-down room after the race, Hamilton confessed that the Mercedes W14 “sucks” in low-speed corners. This revelation has sparked speculation about Hamilton’s intentions and caught the attention of his fellow drivers.
The Canadian Grand Prix was a crucial test for Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team, aiming to prove that their improved performance at the Spanish GP was not a one-time success.
Although Lewis Hamilton finished in third place, dropping a step on the podium, Mercedes had significantly reduced the margin of victory over Verstappen compared to their previous encounter in Spain.
At the Canadian GP, Hamilton crossed the finish line just 14 seconds behind Verstappen, a considerable improvement from the 24-second deficit in Spain.
This improvement was partly due to an early Safety Car period caused by George Russell’s collision with the wall in the other Mercedes W14, preventing Verstappen from building a massive lead.
After the race, as Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen, and Fernando Alonso headed to the cool-down room, Hamilton conversed with Verstappen, disclosing Mercedes’ struggle in low-speed corners. However, Verstappen did not reciprocate and share details about his Red Bull RB19 performance.
This incident has led Daniel Ricciardo, Verstappen’s former teammate who returned to F1 as a third driver for the 2023 season, to believe that Hamilton intended to gather valuable information from a potentially vulnerable Verstappen.
While speaking alongside actor and comedian Will Arnett during an alternate telecast of the Canadian Grand Prix, Ricciardo commented on Hamilton’s approach.
He suggested that Lewis Hamilton expected Verstappen to let his guard down and reveal crucial insights about the Red Bull car.
However, Verstappen remained cautious and divulged little, leaving Lewis Hamilton without the information he sought. Verstappen’s victory at the Canadian GP extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
With six wins this season and 41 victories, Verstappen has reached the impressive milestone set by the late three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna.
Meanwhile, Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, who had shown potential as a title contender earlier in the season, has faced a recent slump, falling 69 points behind Verstappen.