By Philip Duncan, PA F1 Correspondent
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned Lewis Hamilton that “one swallow doesn’t make a summer” after the seven-time world champion secured his first podium in nearly three months at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Hamilton will head into his home race at the British Grand Prix a week on Sunday with renewed rigour after he recovered from a back injury in Azerbaijan to finish third in Montreal – his best result since the opening round in Bahrain on March 27.
Max Verstappen took the chequered flag to claim his sixth win in nine appearances and the sixth in succession for the world champion’s in-form Red Bull team.
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But Hamilton, already 98 points behind Verstappen in the standings, said he was “overwhelmed” to cross the line in third – a performance which provided the British driver with hope he could yet return to the winner’s circle this season.
However, both Hamilton and Mercedes were equally optimistic after his drive from the back to fifth position at last month’s Spanish Grand Prix only to be brought back down to earth at the ensuing rounds in Monaco and Azerbaijan.
And team principal Wolff said: “One swallow doesn’t make a summer. We saw that swallow in Barcelona but somehow it flew somewhere else.
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“We need to be careful. We were off the pace in practice on Friday.
“In the wet in qualifying we were respectable and at times on Sunday we were the quickest.
“In the second stint, Lewis and (team-mate) George (Russell) were almost matching the front-runners and that was very encouraging to see.
“But we just need to be careful. There is so much work we need to do in order to be back at the front and we are not yet there.
“There have been a lot of races that worked against Lewis – where he could have scored a podium or a much better result and it wasn’t his wrong-doing but bad luck.
“So, to see him on the podium, without it being gifted to him, was good to see.”