Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton converted third on the grid to third in the race at the Canadian Grand Prix, to claim back-to-back podium finishes.
It also marked Hamilton’s third podium of 2023, strengthening his position as Mercedes’ lead driver this season.
Hamilton made an excellent start to the race and actually overtook Fernando Alonso for second as they braked into the opening corner, putting the 38-year-old directly behind Max Verstappen.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Verstappen was too quick for Hamilton; however, the Dutchman certainly didn’t clear off into the distance.
Hamilton’s real fight at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve on Sunday was with Alonso, who remained right on his gearbox throughout the opening phase of the race.
The duo both capitalised on Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell colliding heavily with a wall on Lap 13, as a Safety Car was immediately released onto the circuit.
Hamilton and Alonso both saw this as a prime opportunity to complete their opening pit-stop, something they both did.
Aston Martin performed a significantly better pit-stop than Mercedes which saw Alonso almost get ahead of Hamilton in the pits, only for the 103-time race winner to be released narrowly ahead.
Alonso clearly had to brake to avoid a collision, whilst he also threw his hands in the air in frustration.
“I had to brake in the pits,” Alonso declared over the team radio.
Most expected it to be an obvious five-second time penalty for Hamilton, with the incident having been investigated due to it having appeared to be an unsafe release.
To the surprise of many, no penalty was awarded by the FIA; however, Alonso later got his revenge.
The Spaniard overtook his former team-mate to reclaim second, where he eventually finished the race with Hamilton just a few seconds behind.
Interestingly, the FIA revealed why Hamilton wasn’t slapped with a time penalty for an unsafe release, with it having been deemed that “there was no risk of collision”.
“The Stewards reviewed external video and in-car video and audio evidence,” stated the FIA, as reported by Crash.net.
“We note that while Car 14 had to perform minor braking, in our view there was no risk of collision or the need for significant evasive action.”