“I lost so much time”

20 Min Read

Despite moving up three places from his starting position to finish fourth, Lewis Hamilton was disappointed with his result in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Having shown impressive pace during final practice, Hamilton only qualified seventh while team mate George Russell took pole position. The pair converged during the race, and Hamilton briefly got ahead of his team mate, but lost the position with two laps to go.

After he got out of the race Hamilton described it as one of his “worst races” to date. No doubt a better result had been available – Mercedes were contenders for victory in Canada.

But Hamilton’s race had also been spoiled by a significant delay behind a lapped car. It occured with particularly unfortunate timing for his race, and cost him much of the advantage he had gained through the early change to slick tyres he had lobbied for.

Hamilton was one of the first drivers to switch to slick tyres when rain started to fall. But the time lost behind Zhou Guanyu meant he couldn’t take full benefit from it, which helps explain why he was so disappointed with his result.

Hamilton’s 2024 Canadian Grand Prix radio

Jump to:

“You are the fastest man on track”
“Has anyone else stopped?”
“Don’t leave this too late”
“I just lost so much time”
“We maybe went a little bit early”
“Why would you put a hard on?”
“This tyre’s not good”
“The positive is the car is back in performance”

“You are the fastest man on track”

Hamilton spent the first stint stuck behind Alonso

Hamilton got ahead of Daniel Ricciardo at the start but remained trapped behind Fernando Alonso. This proved costly, as the Aston Martin driver dropped back from the leading group which compromised Hamilton’s race-leading team mate, followed by Max Verstappen and the McLarens.

As the track dried out and the leaders became more concerned about the state of their tyres, Alonso and Hamilton moved closer towards them. Hamilton wasn’t able to mount an attack on the Aston Martin driver, even once DRS was enabled, something Red Bull said they were pushing for but which appears not to have been discussed at Mercedes.

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Lap: 10/70 HAM: 1’30.417
Hamilton Are we getting any better?
Bonnington Yes you are. This last lap was good.
Bonnington And Alonso’s been told to pick up the pace and use the tyre.
Bonnington Copy.
Lap: 11/70 HAM: 1’28.956
Bonnington Main loss is turn two exit now.
Lap: 12/70 HAM: 1’28.896
Hamilton Pace?
Bonnington Pace of the leaders currently a 29.5.
Bonnington In a lap or two we’ll need to start cooling.
Lap: 13/70 HAM: 1’28.683
Bonnington And Lewis expecting another shower, 15 to 20 minutes time, similar intensity to the start of the race.
Lap: 14/70 HAM: 1’29.493
Hamilton How are we pace-wise compared to others? Are they going off?
Bonnington You are purple middle sector. Front runners are 28.5, 28.7.
Lap: 15/70 HAM: 1’27.823
Bonnington And Lewis if you can, keep finding as much water as you can. That rain looks like it’s moving further away. So maybe 35, 40 minutes.
Lap: 16/70 HAM: 1’26.732
Hamilton Are we catching people or not?
Bonnington So pace at the front 27.5, 28.2.
Lap: 17/70 HAM: 1’27.426
Bonnington So DRS has been enabled.
Lap: 18/70 HAM: 1’26.013
Bonnington So that rain cell expected now 12 minutes.
Lap: 19/70 HAM: 1’26.817
Bonnington So pace at the front 26.5. Just keep cooling them as much as you can.
Lap: 21/70 HAM: 1’25.593
Bonnington And you are fastest man on track.

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“Has anyone else stopped?”

When the Safety Car appeared for the first time, Hamilton headed into the pits for a set of intermediate tyres, as everyone else did. Crucially, he gained two seconds on Alonso through the pits and rejoined the track ahead of the Aston Martin:

Lap: 23/70 HAM: 1’26.533
Bonnington Expect rain in in three to four minutes.
Bonnington And rain will be light to start and then intensify.
Hamilton Dry now.
Bonnington Copy.
Lap: 25/70 HAM: 1’57.109
Bonnington Have a yellow, yellow, exit turn four. Car facing wrong way left-hand side. So yellow, yellow.
Bonnington So. Safety Car. Safety Car. So keep the delta positive. We are going to box, box. We’re going to take another inter because we expect heavy rain.
Bonnington And just let me know if you’re happy with the front wing. We are expecting more rain.
Hamilton I’d say, take out two holes.
Bonnington Copy.
Hamilton Boxing.
Bonnington Box, box.
Lap: 26/70 HAM: 1’54.962
Bonnington Mate you’re all clear on exit. So just keep on your delta. Keep delta positive.
Bonnington Safety Car is now at turn 10 at the moment. That car is still stranded.
Hamilton Has anyone else stopped?
Bonnington Yeah a lot of cars stopping. They’re all taking new inters.
Hamilton The front guys?
Bonnington Only Norris stayed out at the moment.
Lap: 27/70 HAM: 1’49.202
Hamilton How’s pace compared to the others?
Bonnington Pace was good. Got the fastest lap, that’s now fallen just because it’s drying still.
Hamilton Can’t see anything in my mirrors.
Lap: 28/70 HAM: 2’07.651
Hamilton Is there rain coming?
Bonnington Yeah there should be rain coming. Just get an update for you. One to two minutes.
Hamilton I can’t get the car turned into two. Is that diff?
Bonnington Got recovery vehicle on track here. I’ll get an answer for you.
Bonnington So recommend down on b-mig.
Hamilton B-bal for this tyre?
Bonnington Yeah happy where you are at the moment.
Hamilton Did we do the same thing on pressure or doing something different?
Bonnington Er, so we are down.
Hamilton Okay.
Lap: 29/70 HAM: 2’11.309
Bonnington So at points you had fastest lap. So it’s just a couple of tenths either way.
Bonnington So Safety Car is going to be in this lap.
Hamilton These tyres are likely to fall apart quickly.
Bonnington Yeah just want to see how much rain we’re going to get.

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“Don’t leave this too late”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Hamilton was one of the first drivers to switch to slicks when the track dried

When the race resumed, Hamilton was following Oscar Piastri. His lap times were a match for those of new leader Verstappen, but as the McLaren’s pace dropped off Hamilton became anxious to ensure he got onto slick tyres as early as possible.

Bonnington kept him abreast of the performance of Pierre Gasly, who made an early switch to slick tyres. But he opted for the hard compound, which Hamilton had a low opinion of (“it’s shit”), and felt the softer medium compound was a better choice in the cool, damp conditions.

Lap: 34/70 HAM: 1’27.360
Hamilton Don’t have great pace. Hold on [unclear].
Lap: 35/70 HAM: 1’26.930
Bonnington Only real loss last corner braking.
Hamilton Yeah front grip’s weak.
Lap: 39/70 HAM: 1’24.911
Bonnington Lewis recommend strat mode 11 for a bit more performance.
Lap: 41/70 HAM: 1’24.372
Bonnington You are fastest man on track.
Bonnington And we have first car onto slicks, one of the Alpines.
Hamilton Yeah I think slicks are going to be quicker.
Bonnington Copy. Gasly on the hard.
Lap: 42/70 HAM: 1’24.413
Bonnington So Gasly struggling on slick tyre.
Hamilton [Unclear]
Bonnington Understand but the times still look off. Pit lane still very wet.
Lap: 43/70 HAM: 1’41.297
Hamilton Don’t leave this too late, man.
Bonnington Gasly’s still two seconds off in sector one.
Hamilton It’s the hard tyre’s shit, that’s why.
Bonnington And we’ll be box, box; box, box. Medium tyre. Pit lane is slippy.
Bonnington Go menu ‘wet’ position ‘one’ when you can.

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“I just lost so much time”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024
Hamilton ran wide at one corner but lost far more time behind a Sauber

Two things went wrong for Hamilton in his first laps on the slick tyres. First he ran slightly wide at the second hairpin.

Second, and much more costly to his race, he was held up by Zhou Guanyu in turns three and four. The Sauber driver was having a poor weekend, having crashed twice during practice, and was extremely tentative as he joined the track on slick tyres. Hamilton caught him at the worst possible point as they funnelled through the narrow turns three and four, then gunned it past the Sauber.

As a result, at time when drivers were gaining multiple seconds per lap after switching to slicks, Hamilton lost over three-and-a-half seconds compared to his previous lap. Any opportunity to use the advantage he’d bought by switching early to slicks was lost – though passing Piastri was always going to be difficult given how wet it was off-line.

Lap: 44/70 HAM: 1’33.415
Bonnington So there’ll be traffic with Stroll and then Ocon behind him.
Bonnington Think about resetting b-bal.
Hamilton goes wide at the old pits hairpin
Lap: 45/70 HAM: 1’23.763
Bonnington Piastri exiting pit lane now.
Bonnington Piastri five seconds ahead on medium tyre.
Hamilton How’s he so far ahead?
Bonnington So the gap now at 2.7. It’s the warm-up, Lewis, but he’s dropping three seconds on this lap. Now you are purple sector two now, this is where it’s going to pick up.
Lap: 46/70 HAM: 1’27.257
Hamilton Zhou comes out of the pits ahead of Hamilton and holds him up badly through turns two and three
I just lost so much time.
Bonnington Yeah, copy, we’ve seen that.
Hamilton So the undercut was weak.
Bonnington Lewis we can go strat mode seven.
Lap: 47/70 HAM: 1’21.327
Hamilton Is there more pitting ahead?
Bonnington Norris in the pit lane now, he’s the last car.

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“We maybe went a little bit early”

Hamilton was mystified that he’d so fallen back from the cars ahead. Although he began to catch Piastri over the remainder of the stint, he didn’t recover what he lost in that one costly moment behind Zhou:

Lap: 48/70 HAM: 1’19.502
Hamilton How did I lose so much time to everyone?
Bonnington We maybe went a little bit early and then lost that time behind Zhou blocking us.
Hamilton Pace?
Bonnington You’re sticking in purple sectors now. So gap ahead three cars, four seconds.
Lap: 49/70 HAM: 1’23.219
Bonnington Verstappen 20.5.
Bonnington So no pressure behind
Lap: 50/70 HAM: 1’18.414
Bonnington Verstappen 19.4.
Hamilton Yeah.
Bonnington That was still purple sector one. So our pace is still looking strong.
Lap: 51/70 HAM: 1’18.018
Bonnington So Piastri car ahead is 20.0.
Lap: 52/70 HAM: 1’17.750
Bonnington Piastri 18.6 last lap.
Bonnington There’s a big gap to catch.
Lap: 53/70 HAM: 1’17.435
Hamilton Let me know where I’m losing.
Bonnington Main losses are DRS Piastri has off George.
Bonnington We have debris turns nine to 10. Perez losing components.
Hamilton Gap ahead?
Bonnington Gap is now 4.7, closed it from 7.4.

“Why would you put a hard on?”

Hamilton’s frustration was compounded when the Safety Car appeared again and he discovered he did not have any further sets of medium tyres available. Most teams had expected to use a medium-hard-hard strategy if the race was fully dry.

As he had a free pit stop, the team chose to fit a fresh set of hard tyres. His team mate had fitted those at his previous stop, and so was able to use mediums at the end.

Lap: 54/70 HAM: 2’02.455
Bonnington So Safety Car. Safety Car. Car off at turn seven. Lewis we have a free stop. We can make it to hard. Just let us know if you’re happy with that.
Hamilton How long is there to go? Why would you put a hard on?
Bonnington It’s all we have left. There’s 16 laps remaining.
Hamilton There’s no soft?
Bonnington We think that would be too risky. We’ve got too far to go.
Hamilton Don’t have another medium?
Bonnington Negative. The hard doesn’t look bad at all. What do.
Hamilton Whatever you think’s right, mate. I could definitely do with a new tyre, for sure.
Bonnington Yep, you’ve got a free stop so we’ll take it.
Hamilton Will there be guys ahead when I take it?
Lap: 55/70 HAM: 1’46.626
Hamilton You didn’t clean my mirrors again, I can’t see anything.
Lap: 56/70 HAM: 2’01.618
Bonnington Yeah sorry about that Lewis we’ll let you know. You’ve got pace to the cars behind so we’re just looking forward.
Hamilton Pace on the guys ahead, right?
Bonnington Affirm.
Hamilton Did I not have new mediums?
Bonnington Negative.
Hamilton I don’t understand, the car ahead does.
Bonnington Yep George fitted hard at the previous one. We think this is a quick tyre.
Hamilton This tyre doesn’t feel good.
Bonnington Yeah it just needs a bit more temp. Just keep working the casing as well as possible.
Lap: 57/70 HAM: 1’52.216
Hamilton The medium tyre’s definitely faster, mate. What are the guys ahead on?
Bonnington Old medium tyres. So nine to 12 lap old medium tyres. And just remember that graining risk is still present.
Hamilton We didn’t have any graining the last one, did we?
Bonnington Yeah but the pace is going to pick up. It’s all about pace.
Hamilton How many laps left?
Bonnington It’s going to be 13 when you cross the line.
Bonnington And for info Alonso, Stroll cars behind on 12 lap hard tyres, so a 10-lap offset.

“This tyre’s not good”

Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, George Russell, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2024
Hamilton passed Piastri and Russell – but couldn’t keep his team mate behind

There was little communication between Hamilton and the pit wall over the final laps. He got ahead of Russell and Piastri, but his medium-shod team mate came back at him and denied Hamilton his first podium finish of the year in a grand prix.

Lap: 58/70 HAM: 2’13.716
Bonnington Safety Car will be this lap.
Hamilton Did you put wing in?
Bonnington Affirm.
Hamilton I have understeer.
Bonnington Yeah probably just temp though.
Bonnington Will be strat mode six for the restart.
Hamilton Which strat?
Bonnington Strat mode six, six.
Lap: 61/70 HAM: 1’16.960
Bonnington And only losses to George are DRS.
Lap: 62/70 HAM: 1’16.448
Bonnington So strong sector one. He’s losing DRS.
Hamilton Check the last corner.
Bonnington Last corner flat to George.
Bonnington And last corner was flat to yourself. Purple sector one, though.
Hamilton Yeah he’s way slower than me.
Lap: 63/70 HAM: 1’16.657
Bonnington So gaining all corners, losing 0.6 with the DRS.
Lap: 64/70 HAM: 1’16.196
Hamilton And Piastri looks like he’s grained his rear left.
Lap: 65/70 HAM: 1’15.074
Bonnington So you have six laps remaining, Piastri ahead is a podium.
Lap: 66/70 HAM: 1’15.890
Bonnington Nice work Lewis. So five laps remaining.
Bonnington So Norris ahead two seconds, 16.1 last lap.
Lap: 67/70 HAM: 1’15.922
Bonnington So George now the car behind. Norris two ahead.
Bonnington We have debris turn nine right-hand side.
Bonnington George at 0.7 behind.
Lap: 68/70 HAM: 1’15.963
Hamilton This tyre’s not good.
Lap: 69/70 HAM: 1’16.065
Bonnington Russell passes Hamilton in the DRS zone approaching the final corner
And it’ll be one more lap.

“The positive is the car is back in performance”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff came on the radio to console Hamilton after his frustrating race.

Chequered flag
Bonnington Well done Lewis. That’s P4, mate, and the fastest lap by the look of it.
Hamilton Well guys good job this weekend. Shame I didn’t get the result that we deserve but let’s keep pushing.
Bonnington Copy Lewis, good job today, solid race.
Wolff Lewis the positive is the car is back in performance and we get on from here.

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2024 Canadian Grand Prix

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