Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen shared a brief exchange in the podium room while watching highlights of their close battle at the Canadian Grand Prix. Hamilton has been unable to battle Verstappen on the track this season, with Mercedes struggling to keep pace with Red Bull.
But there have been huge improvements from Mercedes in Canada with Hamilton battling for a podium spot from the start. And neither Verstappen nor Carlos Sainz shunned Hamilton in the closing stages, with the Briton keeping his W13 close by.
His ability to stay within contact distance paid off after Verstappen entered the pits for a set of fresh hard tyres. Hamilton came into Turn 2 just as Verstappen came out of the pits and the two rivals for last year’s title went head-to-head, with the former emerging as the winner.
Verstappen then hopped on the team radio to complain about Red Bull not knowing Hamilton would be ahead of him after the pit stop. Hamilton’s position ahead of Verstappen didn’t last long as the Dutchman quickly found his place later in the lap.
Verstappen eventually took the checkered flag ahead of Sainz with Hamilton securing his second podium of the season. And Hamilton and Verstappen were filmed discussing their close encounter on the track as they waited to take the podium.
Verstappen laughed before Hamilton looked at the screen and said: ‘Oh yeah, I couldn’t see you after a while, I was like ‘where is he? moment on the track.
It’s the first time Hamilton has beaten team-mate George Russell on the track since finishing third in the season-opening race in Bahrain. And Toto Wolff has seen positive signs of where Mercedes is headed with the British Grand Prix just around the corner.
“They were both very good and they were on different fin setups and settings. We showed pace today,” Wolff said. “Before the safety car came to the end, we were actually faster than Sainz. on the work.
“Going forward, we just need to develop the car in a different window than we had. We had it very low on the ground and clearly it’s not working. I think we have a direction of development. We haven’t understood it in many areas, but we are responsible for the problem and we have to solve it.”