SportF1Hamilton, as excited as in his debut with his...

Hamilton, as excited as in his debut with his best Saturday of 2022

Hamilton qualified fourth and achieved the best result of his troubled 2022 season on Saturday after what he described as a “disastrous” Friday in which his team tested a new floor that he ended up discarding.

It also came after having only had a few days to recover from the pain he suffered in his back at the Azerbaijan GP, when he struggled to get out of the car at the end of the race.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am!” said Hamilton when asked by if he was satisfied with the outcome of the difficult session.

“Ang [his physical therapist Angela Cullen] and I had the biggest hug in 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 thankful.” to have her with me every day to work through the pain and get my body in order and then come here with a car that is still in pain.

“We know that the pace in the dry is a long way from our rivals. But to be in the top five in qualifying in these conditions is impressive. I think it’s my best qualifying this year. The feeling is very, very similar to my Ranked #1 in Australia in 2007 for thrills.

Lewis Hamilton’s Saturday had been complicated during qualifying due to an imbalance in brake temperatures that he had to try to correct.

“It was difficult for everyone,” he revealed. “I also had a big separation of the brake discs on my wheels. So one brake disc was higher than the other, so the other one can pitch.

“So luckily I was able to fix that on the lap out. We didn’t do like our full mode, because we were doing consistent laps. So I think there was a little bit more time.

“But at the end my tires were a little bit up. When I was doing the fastest lap I knew everyone else was on a lap and I was, ‘Oh Jesus please!'”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Hamilton admitted he had considered doing like teammate George Russell and testing slicks at the end of Q3, but decided the track wasn’t dry enough yet. Russell spun into the barriers starting his fastest lap on softs.

“We thought about it, and the track was drying out pretty quickly. There were a few spots on the track that looked dry. But it seemed like too much of a risk to me, especially in this temperature.”

“So we decided to stick with intermediates and I think it was the right choice. I still needed about 10 minutes or so before I went to slicks.”

After his difficult Friday, Hamilton and his Mercedes team made changes to the car overnight, and he is now much more confident heading into Sunday’s race, where he will race with a lower drag rear wing than his teammate.

He added: “Friday was really tough. Basically what happened is we’re trying all these different things on the car, holes in the bottom and all sorts of things. We had many, many different setups on Friday and we always hoped that one of them was the right one. And mine wasn’t the best to drive!”

“And that’s why it was very difficult for me to be consistent with the car. Then we met in the evening, we shared our opinions on it, and we have improved a little bit.

“And then before qualifying we had to decide whether to ride a big wing or the smaller wing for the race for a small potential advantage in qualifying. That’s the direction George went, and I prepared myself for Sunday. So I hope it’s the right one and gives me the best car for the race.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Hamilton heads into Sunday’s Canadian GP with a very different car to the one he drove in the dry on Friday, having only had the opportunity to test it in the wet on Saturday. However, he is not worried that the changes will surprise him.

“No, it’s not a step into the unknown, it’s a bit softer, it should be better on the rebound, the mechanical balance is different, and it should be a lot better,” he said. “George is much, much happier in the direction he was in.”

When asked about Toto Wolff ‘s words that the car could be dangerous, he replied: “In the last race it was! In the last race it wasn’t the safest of all the cars.”

“But this weekend it’s nice that we’ve raised the ride height, which has helped a bit. But I don’t feel it’s dangerous this weekend.

Hamilton isn’t worried about his back being a problem in the race, adding: “I hope we don’t have the same problems as in Baku. We haven’t had them so far this weekend. And yes, I think it should be fine.”

“My back, with acupuncture, we continue to work on it every day, every night, stretching. It’s still a little tight, but I got it on Saturday and I’ll get it on Sunday.”

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