Lewis Hamilton sets sights on Verstappen and Alonso in Canadian GP

Lewis Hamilton secured fourth place in qualifying for the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton said he’s hoping to battle Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso at the front of the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, as he chases a record-equalling win in Montreal.

Despite Mercedes struggling to heat up their intermediate tyres in a soaking qualifying session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton landed fourth on the grid one place ahead of teammate George Russell.

“I’m really grateful that we’re on the second row and I think the team has done a great job this weekend to put us there,” Hamilton told the media. “I think hopefully our race pace is stronger than what we showed today.

“So hopefully it’s fighting the top two drivers, Alonso and Max tomorrow, hopefully we can put some pressure at least on one of them.”

If Hamilton can fight his way to a win then it’ll be his eighth win at the Circuit Gille Villeneuve, where he took his first-ever grand prix victory in 2007.

He’s currently tied with Michael Schumacher on seven Montreal wins, but another victory would put equal the record for most wins at a single circuit.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during 2023 Canadian Grand Prix practice | Mercedes F1 Team/Steve Etherington

He’d actually tie himself at the Hungaroring and Silverstone, plus Schumacher who won eight times at Magny-Cours.

Mercedes expected struggles in Canada with so many slow-speed corners compared to at the Spanish GP last time out, where they recorded a double-podium.

However, after the topped FP2 with a one-two, Hamilton‘s comments are the closest thing to fighting talk as usually comes from the Brackley team.

Tyre calls were rolls of the dice

Mercedes were the only driver to have both cars complete Q3, as other favourites Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were eliminated in Q2 and Oscar Piastri‘s crash in the final session brought a premature end to his afternoon.

However, that was only by the skin of their teeth as Hamilton scraped through Q2 in tenth place.

With the track briefly dry enough for slick tyres – a situation Alex Albon took full advantage of to top the session – Mercedes were too slow to switch onto the dry rubber and missed the window.

Hamilton was unable to improve but luckily neither were any of the drivers below him, and he survived to land his W14 on the front row.

Hamilton added: “It was a lottery, a throw of the dice, trying to get it right but I don’t think we did. But we got through, just about.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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