Lewis Hamilton made no secret of his relief after bouncing back from two defeats to win the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday in Montreal.
Hamilton dominated the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, only losing the lead when he pitted for fresh tires as he left Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg trailing in second place.
In the past month, Hamilton had seen his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship fall from 27 points to just ten, with his defeat in Monaco being particularly bitter given that it was a result of a strategic error in the final stages of the race.
Speaking on the podium after the race, Hamilton admitted that it was a much-needed victory in light of his recent results.
“Did I need this?” Hamilton asked the crowd under the podium, receiving cheers in reply.
“I think so. Just a big thank you to all the fans here today. Every time we come here we always get the greatest support from all the fans. I take my hat off to you guys.”
Hamilton was constantly managing the car’s setup throughout the race, and continued to lift and coast before braking even on the final lap of the race.
The Briton explained how he did not feel entirely comfortable with the car, but still felt that he had enough pace in hand that he was always in control.
“I didn’t feel I had the most comfortable balance,” Hamilton said. “I generally had a lot of understeer, I never really felt too much under pressure.
“Nico was quick, but I felt like I always had it under control. I had time in my pocket to be able to put it out if I needed to. It was a great race, I don’t know how it was to watch. It felt like it was intense, I really enjoyed it.”
Hamilton now heads to the Red Bull Ring in Austria in two weeks’ time with a 17 point lead at the top of the standings, leaving Rosberg with plenty of work to do during the five-race run in Europe.