Lewis Hamilton dismissed comparisons between Sebastian Vettel’s penalty that cost him Canadian Grand Prix victory and his own sanction at Spa 11 years ago, calling the incidents “a lot different”.

Hamilton took his fifth win of the year in Montreal on Sunday after Vettel – the winner on-track – was relegated to second place due to a time penalty for unsafely rejoining the track when defending the lead from Hamilton.

It was the first time a driver had lost victory in such fashion since the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, when Hamilton was given a post-race time penalty for gaining an advantage off-track during his fight with Kimi Raikkonen, dropping him to second place.

However, Hamilton knocked back such comparisons when speaking after the race, saying he was informed that he was within the rules when battling Raikkonen at Spa.

“I don’t think you can relate it necessarily to 2008, because in 2008 I made an error,” Hamilton said.

“Obviously I overtook someone off track and then had to let them past and then overtook them again but back then, my team asked Charlie [Whiting, race director] whether the overtake was OK. Charlie came back and said it was totally fine, but if he had come back and told us at the time that it wasn’t OK, I would have let him back past and overtook him again.

“But the rest of that race was crazy, you know. I went off, he overtook me and then he spun and then I overtook him again and then he crashed and then I won the race – and I still got penalised at the end.

“So it was a lot different, but I do understand what it’s like to naturally lose a race. It’s definitely not the way you want to win a race.

“It’s not the way you want to lose a race also, especially when you’ve driven so well.”

The win for Hamilton allowed him to extend his lead in the F1 drivers’ championship to 29 points over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished fourth in Canada.


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