Hamilton shows maturity and composure as he looks ahead
His face on the Monaco Grand Prix podium said it all.
There was no need to ask psychologists what Lewis Hamilton was feeling at that precise moment. Not even the most hardened of men would have been able mask their feelings.
Hamilton had been robbed of victory at the most glamourous race of the year by a catastrophic blunder by his Mercedes team.
Comfortably leading the race ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, Hamilton was called into the pits by his team to make a late pit stop under safety car conditions.
But when he left the pits, he came out side by side with the Ferrari and Rosberg in front.
The pair had opted not to stop and on any another circuit, you would have backed Hamilton to regain his position on fresher tyres. But Monaco is notoriously difficult to overtake and when he found himself eventually having to settle behind Vettel, Hamilton knew he wouldn’t be able to recover.
Speaking to commentator Martin Brundle after the race, looking understandably downbeat, Hamilton refused to criticise his team. Others almost certainly would of. Perhaps a Hamilton of two or three years would have let the emotions spill out.
But no, he was calm. Disappointed but steely in his determination to rectify the error in the next race. This was the clearest indication of the new, matured, level-headed Lewis Hamilton.
As he arrived in Canada for the Canadian Grand Prix, the British driver made it clear in his press conference that the events of two weeks ago were forgotten.
He said: “I don’t look back. I am looking forward. Honestly, I haven’t thought about the last race for a long time.
“I have been thinking about the next race about training and coming back strong for this weekend. There is nothing I can do about it, so there is no point in worrying about it.
“There are going to be a lot of questions about Monaco. I am not going back to Monaco. I have moved on. I couldn’t care less about it. I am focussed on this weekend.”
And Hamilton will need all of his focus because his championship lead has now shrunk to just 10 points over Rosberg. Despite the good fortune he received in Monaco, the German
will be buoyant after winning the last two races and eager to apply more pressure on Hamilton.
This weekend’s race will be a fascinating test of Hamilton’s ability to forget the past because the momentum in the championship is now with Rosberg.
Hamilton remains the better driver of the two but Rosberg has shown great character to overcome a disappointing start to the season.
Races in Canada are always full of drama, overtaking, accidents and the occasional rain. It rarely disappoints and for Hamilton, he’ll be hoping for an incident-free weekend to rewrite some wrongs.