Lewis Hamilton admitted he felt “deflated” after inheriting victory in the controversial Canadian GP but said that Sebastian Vettel “made a mistake” in the incident that ultimately brought him the race win.
Hamilton increased his championship advantage to 29 points – and a massive 62 over Vettel – after his Ferrari rival fell foul of the stewards, who ruled he had forced Hamilton off the track after running wide at Turn Three.
A five-second time penalty dropped Vettel four seconds behind Hamilton in the final classification, leaving the world champion with an unusual feeling in victory.
“I’m a little bit deflated, really,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
Expanding on his Lap 48 tussle with Vettel, Hamilton added: “There was just a point where I had to put him under pressure and force an error because they were so quick on the back straight that even if I got close to him into Turn 10, they’ll pull away.
“And he made a mistake. Ultimately the rules say if you go off you have to come on in a safe manner and I was alongside and had to back out to avoid a collision. I guess that’s why they made the decision.”
Stewards indeed ruled that Vettel had returned to the track in an ‘unsafe manner and forced car 44 off track’.
Hamilton on the fans’ boos
While Vettel was given a huge standing ovation from the crowd after the race, Hamilton’s podium interview was drowned out by jeers – although it is not clear whether fans were booing the world champion directly or the penalty decision.
Asked about the boos, Hamilton said: “Maybe they didn’t get the right views… I’ve got to rewatch it.
“Hopefully they weren’t booing me because I didn’t do anything to deserve that I don’t think, all I did was just race my heart out.
“Often they don’t always see it from all aspects. Ultimately he made a mistake. He wasn’t supposed to make a mistake but it’s hard not to make mistakes out there when we’re sliding.”