‘Did I need this?’ he asked the spectators to raucous cheers. ‘I think so’
Lewis Hamilton put Monaco misery behind him on Sunday with a controlled Canadian Grand Prix victory that sent the Formula One world champion 17 points clear of Mercedes team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.
The Briton's fourth victory in seven races this season, and fourth career win in Canada, denied Rosberg a third triumph in a row and provided the perfect response to losing out in the showcase race two weeks ago.
There he had been leading comfortably from pole only to lose out after a needless late pitstop when the safety car was deployed.
There was no need for the safety car on Sunday, at a circuit that has seen it plenty of times in the past, and there was little in the way of drama either -- other than a startled groundhog appearing on the track -- as Hamilton led from pole.
Rosberg was never close enough to attack, finishing 2.2 seconds behind after having to manage his brakes while Hamilton also had to coast at times to save fuel.
The rest of the field was in another race entirely, with Hamilton lapping all but six of the cars behind him at the circuit where he took his first F1 win in 2007 with McLaren.
Finland's Valtteri Bottas was third for Williams, a massive 40.6 seconds behind Hamilton, to become the first driver from outside Mercedes or Ferrari to appear on the podium this year.
"I love Montreal," Hamilton told the crowd as he stood on the podium after his 37th career win. "Nico was quick but I felt like I always had it under control.
"Did I need this?" he asked the spectators to raucous cheers. "I think so."
On his way to victory, Hamilton also replaced 1992 champion Nigel Mansell as the British driver to lead most laps in Formula One history.
Bottas moved up one place from where he started, beating his fellow-Finn Kimi Raikkonen after the Ferrari driver spun following a pitstop, and looked forward to more podium appearances.
"I think we really needed this result," he said.
"Like last year we saw that it really boosts confidence. We know again now that we are a top team and that we can fight for podiums."