Hamilton feels the love in absence of Brazilian drivers

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix. (AFP)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix. (AFP)

Hamilton has won over the crowd since 2008 with his praise of the country



By Reuters

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 12:53 AM

With no Brazilian drivers on the Formula One starting grid, local fans gave seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton plenty of love at Interlagos on Sunday and the feeling was mutual.

The Mercedes driver celebrated one of his greatest wins with a gesture made famous by late triple world champion and local hero Ayrton Senna, carrying the Brazilian flag during the slowing down lap.

As he did, the crowd started chanting his name along with that of Senna.

The Briton, the most successful driver in the history of the sport with 101 race wins, later carried the flag onto the podium and received an ovation from the crowd at one of the most atmospheric circuits on the calendar.

“I’m so, so grateful for the incredible support I’ve had this weekend. I’ve not had it since Silverstone,” Hamilton said.

“Obrigado (thank you) Brasil,” he added in Portuguese.

Hamilton has won over the crowd since 2008 with his praise of the country and his connection to Senna, who died at Imola in 1994 and was his boyhood inspiration.

“Senna has always been his idol ... every time he comes to Brazil, he brings a special homage,” said Anderson Cardoso, a Hamilton supporter attending the grand prix.

The 36-year-old now trails Verstappen by 14 points with three races remaining.

Cardoso said he still missed having a Brazilian driver to support in a country that gave the sport multiple world champions Senna, Nelson Piquet and Emerson Fittipaldi.


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