Lewis Hamilton says he is “super grateful” just to finish the Canadian Grand Prix after admitting he feared an issue with his Formula 1 engine would force him into retirement. 

Hamilton reported occasional power outages on his Mercedes engine as early as the eighth lap in Montreal, as he began to fall back from the leading three. The issue hampered him throughout the opening stint and ultimately forced him into an early stop, with Mercedes adding additional cooling in his pit stop in a bid to solve his overheating W09.

The Briton dropped behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo during the pit stop phase and ultimately ended up a distant fifth, as he fell one point behind Sebastian Vettel in the championship standings following the German’s dominant victory for Ferrari. 

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Despite losing his points advantage in the drivers’ standings, Hamilton admits he was just happy to make it to the chequered flag.

“I’m super grateful that I finished - I’m just so happy that I finished,” Hamilton explained. “From the start, all of a sudden I was down on power and my engine was saying it was over-temperature and I couldn’t get the temperatures down. 

"I just thought it was going to fail and every single lap I was just on the edge waiting for that power to drop away. It kept dropping and coming back and dropping and I was like ‘jeez’. It was the seventh race on the engine so it’s seen its life. I could have lost a lot more today.”

Mercedes suffered a blow heading into the weekend after being forced to delay the introduction of its upgraded power unit having discovered a last-minute fault. 

Hamilton struggled for pace in qualifying and could only manage fourth, while Bottas missed out on pole position by just 0.093s. After qualifying, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff acknowledged its failure to run its new-spec engine proved costly, given rivals Ferrari brought an update that helped the Italian squad seal a convincing win. 

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Hamilton believes Mercedes needs to keep the pressure on Ferrari to force the Scuderia into mistakes, considering how tightly-contesting the title fight is proving to be. 

 “I think Ferrari have had a slightly better package all round, they’ve been doing a slightly better job so we’ve got to do more,” he said. "We’ve got to keep working, which I know the guys are, and I just think we need to stay positive. There’s no reason to lose control.

"We just keep doing what we are doing, keep our heads down, keep motivated and keep pushing because they will falter. We need to keep applying the pressure, we didn’t this weekend but I’m really going to make sure we come back stronger at the next race.”

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