Martin Whitmarsh: “Lewis is really on top form with these tyres”

Martin Whitmarsh has praised Lewis Hamilton for his superb drive to victory in Canada, and especially the way he worked with the tyres over the course of the race.

Hamilton scored his third Montreal win after re-catching Alonso and Vettel following his second pit stop in dramatic fashion. It was his first success of the season, and came on the fifth anniversary of his first ever F1 win.

“Lewis is really on top form with these tyres, they’re particularly difficult,” said Whitmarsh. “He could turn them on, and you could see at various times he held and controlled the gap with Fernando. We prompted him a bit and he’d suddenly go purple. It was classic Lewis, very much in control, of his pace and very much in control of the race as a consequence.

“It was massively well deserved. He’s been unfortunate this year, and he should have had one or two wins before now. It’s pretty fitting to come here, the scene of his first ever Grand Prix victory. It’s special for me, I joined him on the podium for his first victory here. I don’t often go up, but I was delighted to go up for this one.”

Whitmarsh says it’s still impossible to judge how the formbook is going to develop in the coming races.

“Today we were strong. I wish we could guarantee that we’d be strong in Valencia, but I can’t! We’ll try our best. We keep saying it, but it’s seven races and seven winners. I think we’ve virtually run out of options anyway, so we’re probably going to have a duplicate at the next race.”

He believes it’s too early suggest that the top three established teams will now start to collect more race wins and pull away from the rest.

“You’ve got us much data as me! I hope so but I have no idea. I actually do think this so close, the tyres are so tricky, it can swing any way. It’s so critical. You see that going through qualifying. It’s bloody difficult to get through, conserving your tyres, and you’ve got to be absolutely every step of the weekend now making the right engineering decisions, making the right operational decisions, being error free. It’s massively tough.

“But it’s great, it’s how it should be, isn’t it? I’m delighted for F1. I’d love us to be walking away comfortably with the championship, but it’s not going to be that way. This is an abnormal season, and I think it’s going to be like this right to the end.

“We leave here with Lewis leading the championship, but we don’t think this is now in cruise mode, we’re going to win. Who knows, it could go horribly wrong in an instant at the next race. That’s how it should be. The team responds well to that, we’re fighters.”

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