Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that Mercedes are beginning to make more of an dent on the advantage Red Bull and Ferrari have over them after Sir Lewis Hamilton’s podium in Montreal.
Hamilton qualified fourth in wet conditions in Montreal, and passed Alpine’s Fernando Alonso to take third away from the Spaniard as misfortune sent the double world champion down to ninth.
The 37-year-old did finish within 10 seconds of winner Max Verstappen as he held of Carlos Sainz for victory, with team-mate George Russell a further five seconds adrift in P4.
However, the small gap to the front was partly owed to the late Safety Car caused by a crash for AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, so it was perhaps not entirely representative.
Having said that, Russell put up a great fight against both Verstappen and Sergio Perez as he eventually lost out to the Red Bull pair in Barcelona, so Wolff sees promise in the Silver Arrows’ performance, particularly after Hamilton’s second rostrum appearance of the season.
“Everybody is in a good space but there’s lots of work to do, one swallow doesn’t make a summer,” he said after the race.
“We saw that swallow in Barcelona but somehow it flew somewhere else.
“Today, at times, we were with the quickest cars. On the second stint, Lewis and George were almost matching the frontrunners, but we’re not yet there.”
Alonso himself felt as though he had matching pace compared to Hamilton in the first part of the race before his afternoon began to unravel with engine problems 20 laps in.
“At the beginning of the race I felt strong compared to Hamilton,” he said.
“We just didn’t have the pace of Verstappen and Sainz, but okay to control Hamilton and the Mercedes.”
Hamilton’s podium finish was Mercedes’ fifth of the season, and the 184th of his illustrious career.