Lewis Hamilton says he forced Sebastian Vettel into the mistake that ultimately secured victory for the championship leader in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Vettel ran wide at Turn 3 and was penalized for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner, having forced Hamilton off track as the Briton ran out of room trying to take advantage around the outside. The five-second penalty that Vettel received demoted the Ferrari to second place, and, while Hamilton says he didn’t want to win in that fashion, he later referenced the pressure he was putting Vettel under as crucial to the incident.
“Firstly, thank you to my team. I wouldn’t be standing here without them,” Hamilton said. “It was an incredible effort. We had a problem this morning with the engine, with my crash on Friday. If they hadn’t been so diligent, I wouldn’t have been able to race today as I have.
“Naturally, absolutely, it’s not the way I wanted to win. I was pushing to the end to try and get past. I forced him into an error; he went wide. I had the run on that corner and we nearly collided. It’s unfortunate, but this is motor racing.
“I took the corner normally. When you come back on track, you’re not supposed to go straight back on the racing line; you’re supposed to come back safely. I assume that’s why [he got a penalty].”
When Hamilton spoke in parc ferme and on the podium, there were boos from the crowd, which Vettel called for an end to.
“All I can say is, I didn’t make the decision,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know what they are booing at. Maybe it’s the decision, but …”
Hamilton admits he was struggling to get past Vettel and doesn’t think he’d have been able to on track..
“Not towards the end I don’t think. I think we were all struggling with brake temps towards the end. Tires were good at the point where he made the mistake, so I was as close as I was ever going to be. I got that block and then the gap opened up.
“It’s very hard to follow here. It’s such a great track, but if it wasn’t for the fans, it wouldn’t be as great as it is.”