Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen shared a brief exchange in the podium room while watching highlights of their close battle during the Canadian Grand Prix. Hamilton has not been able to fight with Verstappen on the track this season with Mercedes struggling to match Red Bull’s pace.
But there were huge improvements from Mercedes in Canada with Hamilton fighting for a podium spot from the start. And neither Verstappen or Carlos Sainz were running away from Hamilton in the closing stages with the Brit keeping his W13 in close proximity.
His ability to stay within touching distance paid off after Verstappen came into the pits for a set of fresh hard tyres. Hamilton was coming round turn 2 just as Verstappen exited the pits and the two title rivals from last year went wheel-to-wheel with the former coming off the winner.
Verstappen then jumped on team radio to complain about Red Bull for 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 regained his place later in the lap.
Verstappen eventually took the checkered flag ahead of Sainz with Hamilton picking up his second podium of the season. And Hamilton and Verstappen were caught on camera discussing their close encounter on the track as they waited to get onto 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?'” The audio then went silent on the feed as both drivers continued to talk about the moment on track.
It’s the first time Hamilton has beaten team-mate George Russell on track since his third-place finish in the season-opening race at Bahrain. And Toto Wolff saw signs to be positive about the direction Mercedes are heading with the British Grand Prix around the corner.
“They were both very good and they were on different set-ups and different rear wing settings. We showed some pace today,” Wolff said. “Before the safety car came out at the end we were actually quicker than Sainz. You’re picking out a few laps and saying, ‘yeah we are back’ but I don’t think we’re there yet. We need to keep on working.
“The way forward, we just need to develop the car in a different window than we had. We were having it really low on the ground and clearly that doesn’t function. I think we have development direction. We didn’t get it right in many areas but we own the problem and we need to fix it.”