MONTREAL: Lewis Hamilton celebrated by chatting, posing for photos and signing autographs with the fans, Nico Rosberg kept his dignity and his cool and Mercedes breathed a sigh of relief.
After the debacle of their Monaco Grand Prix pit-stop fiasco, the champion team were back on form after defending champion Hamilton led Rosberg home in a perfect one-two finish to Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
“We are not idiots any more, are we?” said team chief Toto Wolff. Nobody can argue with that.
It was Mercedes’ fourth one-two of the season and it was Hamilton’s fourth win this year – ample proof, if needed, that the two-time champion and his men remain hot favourites for the drivers’ and constructors’ titles.
After the 37th win of his career, two-time champion Hamilton leads the 29-year-old German Rosberg by 17 points in the title race with much-improved Ferrari’s revitalised four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel third, 43 points adrift of the 30-year-old Briton.
“The calls we made on the pitwall today were faultless, the execution was really good, so we’re not always idiots…” said Wolff. “It’s very rare because today was very tight. We needed to keep concentrated.
“If you have a weekend like Monaco, it’s difficult to digest it and come out of it in a good way. So the team needed that result today.”
Fellow team boss Niki lauda added: “I can’t complain of anything because Lewis did a great job, Nico the same and everybody else was more or less nowhere… It was a perfect weekend. The shock of Monaco is over.”
Wolff explained that the team had decided not to make public that Hamilton’s race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington’s father had died earlier in the week.
It was, he said, a deliberate move to avoid allowing them all to be brought down further as they sought a perfect riposte to the humiliating events in Monte Carlo where Hamilton’s unexpected late and unnecessary pit-stop cost him a near-certain win.
“The team needed that result,” said Wolff, as they celebrated with team photos and drinks in their garage.
“Lewis’s race engineer ‘Bono’ lost his father a couple of days ago and we wanted to keep that out of the public.
“It’s important not to get dragged into a black hole and because, you know, we still finished first and third in Monaco.”
Looking ahead, Wolff warned his team to expect a much stronger challenge from Vettel, who finished fifth Sunday behind Finns Valtteri Bottas of Williams and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
“Psychologically, I guess it’s good that when a competitor expects more performance, you are able to stay on top,” said Wolff.