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Lewis Hamilton explains rare Canadian GP practice crash

3 min read

Lewis Hamilton admitted he felt as though he was sitting in F1’s version of the “headmaster’s office” after a rare mistake left him on the back foot at the Canadian GP.

The world champion completed just eight laps in second practice after clouting the barriers coming out of the Turn Nine chicane, with the impact puncturing his Mercedes’ rear tyre and damaging its floor.

“I made a mistake in FP2 and damaged the car. The boys tried really hard to fix it, but there wasn’t enough time,” said Hamilton, who escaped without damage to his race gearbox.

“I don’t remember the last time I missed a whole session before. It’s definitely not great to watch the session from the garage; it feels like sitting in the headmaster’s office, wishing to be back in class.

“I like the challenge of trying to get myself together tomorrow.”

Hamilton explained what had gone wrong in the incident.

“It was an innocent mistake, I was doing multiple laps on the medium tyre and was really trying to find the limit,” he said. “Obviously I went slightly over, I had a big snap out of Turn Nine and was drifting for a long time, hoping I wouldn’t hit the wall.

“But these things happen; you just have to put it behind you straight away and get back on the horse.”

While Hamilton was sidelined, Ferrari upped the ante in the early stages of their weekend battle with Mercedes and usurped the world champions from the head of the timesheet.

Valtteri Bottas, second to Hamilton in a morning session Mercedes had dominated, ended up third, one tenth off the pace.

“Luckily Valtteri had a good session today, so there’ll be a lot of analysis from that,” added Hamilton. “The boys will do a great job fixing the car tonight and we’ll come back ready for a better day [on Saturday].”

Bottas predicts ‘close’ Ferrari fight
While Mercedes had perhaps been flattered by a large 0.9s advantage over their nearest rivals in first practice, Ferrari’s turning of the tables to establish their own one-two in P2 had been unexpected.

Bottas says the W10 is not quite yet where the team want it, but is confident in its pace and upgraded engine ahead of what he anticipates will be a competitive fight for supremacy in qualifying.

“The car feels strong, but we have some work to do on the balance; the car became more difficult to drive with the changes we made for FP2, but it also felt a little quicker,” reflected Bottas. “So we need to review if there’s anything we could have done better for FP2 and what we’re going to do.

“It’s nice to have a new engine with a bit more power; it’s not a huge difference, but you can feel it, and it’s a really good feeling. The car seemed strong on both long and short runs, but Ferrari was very quick on the straights, so I expect it to be a very close fight.”

So can Ferrari truly challenge Mercedes?
The view of Sky F1’s Jenson Button…

“I don’t think that Mercedes have really turned it [the engine] up. Looking at their straight-line speed, they’re still a little bit down and on a circuit like this, they’ll have a little bit more in their pocket.

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