Lewis Hamilton mocked Ferrari on Saturday for presenting a television analysis by Indian racer Karun Chandhok as evidence supporting their failed bid to have the Canadian Grand Prix result overturned.
Stewards rejected the Italian team’s request for a review of the Montreal race, won by Hamilton after Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was given a time penalty, at the French Grand Prix on Friday.
It emerged then that former F1 racer Chandhok’s post-race video analysis for Sky Sports television formed part of what Ferrari had billed as “quite overwhelming” new and relevant evidence.
“When I arrived in the morning (on Friday) I heard that it was Karun Chandhok’s video that was the new evidence and I was pretty relaxed after that,” a smiling Hamilton told reporters after qualifying on pole position for Mercedes at Le Castellet.
Vettel started on pole in Canada and finished first but collected a controversial five-second penalty after going off track and rejoining in what officials deemed to be a dangerous fashion as Hamilton tried to pass.
The German was scarcely in the reckoning at Le Castellet on Sunday, with five-time world champion Hamilton taking pole ahead of his Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Vettel qualified only seventh, with Monegasque teammate Charles Leclerc third.
The pole was a record-extending 86th for Hamilton, 18 more than Michael Schumacher’s career tally, and his third of the season.
Asked whether he felt “untouchable” in performance terms, Hamilton indicated Bottas was keeping him grounded.
“I do feel strong but each weekend (that) I come in and feel I’m starting on the right foot, Valtteri goes and puts in bloody good laps every time. I’m constantly being pushed by Valtteri,” he said.
“There are some races where we as a team are not being pushed certainly as hard as we’d like to be by the others,” added Hamilton in another dig at Ferrari.
“But the battle within us is, if you look at a lot of the races, half a 10th to a 10th and a half between Valtteri and I,” he said.
“I still have my work cut out, still have to perform and deliver. So the work ethic is exactly the same and the stress is exactly the same as if we were fighting the Ferraris.”
Hamilton, the winner of five of seven races in a dominant season for Mercedes and who leads Bottas by 29 points in the championship, indicated also that the best was yet to come.
Hamilton mocks Ferrari’s use of Chandhok video analysis