Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton secured his ninth career podium finish in Montreal

The Canadian Grand Prix podium gave Lewis Hamilton hope that Mercedes could return to being competitive.

The seven-time champion had not scored a podium since the season opener and his result in Montreal ended a run of difficult races.

If we can get the set-up right, there is more to come from this car.

Prior to Montreal, Hamilton had been out-qualified by George Russell for three consecutive races, and hadn't finished ahead of him since the season opener.

Russell has been very good this season. There is no better compliment for Russell than the question of who will prove the fastest.

Hamilton can't be held responsible for bad luck and awkward circumstances. At the same time the team's more experienced driver has been taking on what has been more often than not the less effective choice out of a series of set up gambles by Mercedes as they seek to get on top of their car.

"Maybe the second half of the season George can do the experiments" was how Hamilton half-joked that he was to finally have a good weekend.

He said that it was time for the team to not take matters into their own hands as they try to edge closer to Red Bull and Ferrari.

Hamilton said that they were just trying to progress as a group. If you only have first and second practice in the dry, we will be a bit more cautious on doing too many experiments.

There are lots of learnings from this weekend and we can improve going forward. It is great to see. This car has not always been that way.

'Still a lot of work to do' at Mercedes

George Russell
George Russell continued his run of finishing in the top five at every race this season

There were times during the race when Hamilton was matching the leaders' lap times, but he was only seven seconds behind race-winner Max Verstappen. This needs to be kept in context.

A safety car stopped the race with 20 laps to go. Hamilton entered them hoping he could keep up with them.

Canada did not make a big step forward for Mercedes on performance. The car remained the same as it has been all year, about a tenth of a second slower than the other two teams. As the stint developed, it showed better tire degradation than them.

One swallow does not make a summer. In May, we saw the swallow in Barcelona, but it flew elsewhere.

We were off the pace on Friday, but we did well in the wet. We used to be with the fastest cars. Lewis and George were close to each other on some laps.

We need to be careful, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get us back at the front.

We have scored four to five podiums, but it's far away from our own expectations. You need to see a podium as a good result on merit and I'm happy for Lewis because he was disadvantaged in some of the races where the safety car went against him A lot of work needs to be done.

The aerodynamic porpoising problem that afflicted them in the early race of the season has been solved, but they still suffer from bouncing caused by a very stiff suspension set-up.

In Canada, they made progress by raising the car and softer suspension, but they didn't improve the car's performance.

Mercedes don't know how to get out of this vicious circle. The British Grand Prix will suit their car because of the fast corners and smooth track.

They don't have a key that will allow the car to be as fast as Red Bull. Hamilton's hopes of improved performance won't change until they find one.

Wolff said we should manage our expectations and just look at the data and come up with some solutions.

We need more load in the car, more downforce, and a car that is not as low on the ground to do that. It is a straight path. This is where we need to find the performance of the other cars.

Ferrari rapid but Verstappen remains untouchable

Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz finished less than a second behind race winner Max Verstappen

Russell is only 15 adrift of the Italian team's lead driver Charles Leclerc in the drivers' table despite Mercedes' lack of performance.

That is a reflection of a dire run by the company.

Canada had some positive things to say about the chase of Red Bull. The Spaniard thought he was the fastest on the track, as he said he was about 0.2-0.4 seconds faster than Verstappen. It was not enough for them to pass the Red Bull in the race.

Sainz was happy that he was the fastest guy on the track. The team boss said that his driver left time out on the track to make life more difficult for himself.

Leclerc recovered well from his position at the back of the grid following an engine penalty, but he found it harder to pass some of the slower cars than expected, and fifth was a couple of places lower than some other teams' simulations had predicted for him.

He lost more points to Verstappen and now trails him by 49 points in the championship with more engine penalties on the way.

Binotto was trying to get in touch withFerrari. We have four races to the summer break where he can attack and recover points if we can, and he has fresh power-units for the next races.

Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen agreed the Ferrari was the faster car on the day but it was unable to overhaul the Red Bull

Most other people think that Verstappen will win a second title.

The man doesn't take anything for granted.

Verstappen said it was a very long way away. I was 46 points behind in race three, but I knew the gap was large. Today we were not the fastest, so we need to stay calm and improve.

It swings a little. It didn't look as good but we still won and that is a quality. We have to work with the team to improve the car.

He's not making a big deal out of it. The onus is on them to prove that they are not a team that can mount a consistent challenge to Verstappen.

Alonso bemoans missed podium chance

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso's strong weekend ended on a disappointing note

He was given a five-second penalty for weaving on the straight when defending from Valtteri.

Alonso's lap was amazing to watch, as he flung it around like a go-kart, bending it to his will, power-sliding it out of the last chicane.

Alonso's rivals and the Alpine team were both impressed by his performance. His return to the sharp end was greeted with joy by both inside and outside of F1.

He was luckless as many times this season as he was.

When the second virtual safety car was called, Alonso had just passed the pit entry, and the race went green again just before he got to it. He didn't want to go out. That made it difficult for him to plan a strategy.

He lost a lot of speed on the straights because of the problem with the engine's hybrid system.

Alonso said that he felt stronger than Hamilton at the beginning of the race. It's okay to control the Mercedes.

Virtual safety cars could change the race. We might still be fighting for P3.

When the engine problem came, it was just trying to survive, trying to get the DRS, trying to drive in corners before the detection point, because the DRS was my only safety on the straights after that.

I wasn't able to pass. It was very frustrating because my car flew this weekend.

His and Alpine's biggest problem this season has been reliability.

Alonso said that he was disappointed. If we didn't finish on the podium it was because of a reliability issue on car 14 and the virtual safety car, but the luck you can't control. The reliability on car 14 should be better.

Alonso made a lot of noise in Montreal.

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