‘It was not his wrongdoing’: Wolff defends Hamilton after streak of finishing behind Russell

Sir Lewis Hamilton finished third in Canada ahead of team-mate George Russell.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was glad to see an end to Sir Lewis Hamilton’s wretched luck on Sunday as he finished third at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton took P3 in Bahrain at the beginning of the year in an underperforming Mercedes, but went seven races without one as George Russell took three in Melbourne, Barcelona and Baku.

The 24-year-old also out-performed the seven-time champion in all of those seven rounds, but part of that can be attributed to the fact that Hamilton has been adversely affected by Safety Cars and other bits of misfortune.

READ: ‘Horny for Horner’ fan raises eyebrows in Canada, but ‘will Christian risk it all?’

In Canada last weekend, he put in an exceptional performance to qualify fourth, beating Russell in qualifying trim for the fourth time in 2022, and went on to score his second podium of the season in third.

The 37-year-old finally enjoyed a clean couple of days following another lairy one on Friday due to bouncing, and Wolff is relieved to see the Briton thriving after a tough beginning to the year.

“There were a lot of races that worked against him where he could have scored a podium or a much better result,” he said.

“It was not his wrongdoing but bad luck, and seeing him now on the positive side and being on the podium without anything being gifted, that is good to see.”

READ: Carlos Sainz’s gamble fails in Canada

Article continues below

While Mercedes have been off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari out front, they have taken advantage of mistakes and reliability failures to grab five podiums this season.

While they have had a habit of being in the right place when it matters, the Austrian does of course want to get back to winning ways on merit.

“We are all very happy, we have scored five podiums this year and we have seen glimpses of the performance that we have, but it is far away from our own expectations of ourselves,” explained Wolff.

“You need to take a podium as a good result, especially on merit, and I am happy for Lewis because he was really disadvantaged in some of the races where the safety car went against him.

“So, everybody is in a good space but there is still lots of work to do.”

With Hamilton in third, Russell came home fourth to maintain his record of finishing in the top five in every race this season.

The haul of 27 points is Mercedes’ joint best of the season, and they have managed that four times in 2022.