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Formula 1 – Canada suits Hamilton well

Formula 1 – Canada suits Hamilton well

By Alan Baldwin MONTREAL (Reuters) – An assured pole-to-flag victory, without safety cars or strategic blunders, was just what Lewis Hamilton needed in Canada on Sunday — even if relief was too strong a word. “Did I need this? I think so. I think so,” the Formula One world champion told the podium crowd after taking his fourth win in seven races this year and extending his overall lead to 17 points. “I love Montreal. I love this track; I love the city and really just a fantastic weekend and great to be back on the top podium.” In Monaco, the previous race two weeks ago, an unnecessary late pit stop had robbed Hamilton of victory and given it instead to Mercedes team-mate and nearest title rival Nico Rosberg. Montreal, a favoured circuit where the Briton had won three times before, including his maiden Formula One victory in 2007, allowed him to claw back some of the lost points and get back to where he wanted to be. The feeling, Hamilton insisted, was not one of relief, however. “I don’t feel like I should be relieved,” he said. “I was also quickest the whole of the previous race weekend. “Of course we had the problem that allowed Nico to win the race, but otherwise I had good pace in the last two races in general,” the two-time world champion added. “So it’s not a relief, it just feels good to continue with good strength and it’s great that the team is also staying strong and moving forward.” Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff, who put himself in the spotlight after Monaco for what some derided as one of the biggest blunders in recent F1 history, felt a weight had been lifted off the team’s shoulders. “I have to say that after Monaco it was sometimes very difficult for the team to deal with,” the Austrian said. “We were subjected to enormous criticism, it seemed that all the victories and the world championship were forgotten and suddenly the team was managed by a bunch of idiots. “The result is a satisfactory result considering what happened in Monaco.” Niki Lauda, ​​the retired three-time world champion who is now non-executive chairman of Mercedes F1, said the result was “perfect” for Hamilton. “He couldn’t have done a better job and that’s it. The whole strategy and whatever we had to produce here was back to normal.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Mitch Phillips.)