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Hamilton: The car felt fantastic today

Lewis Hamilton was happy with a strong points-scoring Canadian GP, but despite saying that the car felt 'fantastic' he warned that Mercedes needed to find more speed - and soon.
Considering that the story of Mercedes' 2013 season to date has been all about excessive tyre wear - culminating in the now-notorious private test conducted with Pirelli at Barcelona last month - Lewis Hamilton was pleasantly surprised and delighted to find that his tyres didn't prove to be much of an issue at all in Montreal for the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix.

"The car felt fantastic today and I had good grip for the low-speed corners," he said.

Even so, it wasn't enough to allow him to hold off Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in the closing laps. Hamilton's concentration on the task in hand was evident when he snapped at his race engineer to 'just me drive' in an almost Raikkonen-esque fashion.

"I was being chased down by Fernando which is like being chased by a bull and when you are at your max that's when you can crash so you don't need any more distractions," Hamilton explained.

In the end, once Alonso got within DRS activation distance of the back of his car, Hamilton knew his time was up: "The double DRS was a bit of pain in the backside because the Ferrari is so quick with the DRS," he said. "It was impossible to hold him behind and even when I got in the DRS of him it was impossible for me because I was on the limiter and I couldn't pull past him.

"It would have been nice to have kept second place of course but Fernando was very quick today," he continued. "I got close to taking the place back but he was just that little bit too fast.

"Still I'm very pleased with third place and it was a strong points-scoring day for the team with Nico's fifth place as well," he said. "We've taken a step up in the Constructors' Championship which is great for the team and gives us a nice boost going into Silverstone."

But the fact that he was still so far off the pace of race winner Sebastian Vettel, let alone losing second place to Alonso and arguably only holding on to third place because Red Bull's Mark Webber was struggling with front wing damage, means Hamilton was quick to agree that the team still had a lot more work to do.

"We are constantly improving the car, over one lap it feels good and in a race it does but then the tyres get too hot so we need to do more work on that," he said.

"I think it's just been a work in progress. We haven't really cured anything. It's not been a long period of time since Barcelona, where there was big trouble. I guess we've just been to two tracks where it's not got high speed corners, so therefore it's not really been a problem. We've worked on a couple of techniques to look after the tyres a bit more, brake cooling and all that kind of stuff has been added as well, which helps."

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June 10, 2013 1:06 AM

Taipan in reaching for the Kleenex shocker! Brilliant drive from Vettel. Utterly dominated in what is still the best car. I thought Lewis drove well today and although he admitted that he thought Alonso was a little to fast at the end. I thought Lewis was unlucky in that a caterham parked so that the drs was disabled for the last 3 laps. Kudos to him for not taking that in account.

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