Lewis Hamilton grateful to Brazil GP marshal after paying touching Ayrton Senna tribute

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Sir Lewis Hamilton was left ‘grateful’ to an F1 marshal who helped him pay tribute to Ayrton Senna after his scintillating win at Interlagos. The reigning world champion produced one of the drives of his career to come from 10th on the grid and pass title rival Max Verstappen with 12 laps remaining, and proceeded to take the chequered flag in front of a partisan Brazilian crowd.

The win keeps Hamilton’s hopes of an eighth world crown alive, cutting Red Bull driver Verstappen’s overall lead to 14 points with just three races to go in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi.

And afterwards, the Mercedes man marked his success by re-enacting Senna’s famous celebration from 1991, when the legend himself enjoyed an emotional win in front of his own fans in Sao Paulo.

That day Senna, who tragically died aged 34 following a racing accident at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, prevailed despite being stuck in sixth gear for the final stages of the race, and celebrated by waving a Brazilian flag for the jubilant crowd.

And on Sunday Hamilton, who has long described the former three-time world champion as his racing inspiration, was able to do the same thanks to the help of an F1 marshal.

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The official handed the 36-year-old the ‘Auriverde’ on his cool-down lap, although the exchange ending up costing Hamilton €5,000, with a further 20,000 suspended, after stewards noted he took his seat-belt off before reaching over to grab it.

The driver didn’t seem too bothered though, later taking to social media to upload an image of him receiving the flag with the line ‘So grateful to this marshal’.

Hamilton proceeded to take the flag onto the podium with him, and in his Sky Sports column F1 pundit Martin Brundle said his actions had helped recreate an ‘iconic’ moment from 30 years previous – even if he felt the disciplinary action was justified.

“Lewis managed to pick up a financial fine on the slowing down lap while undoing his seatbelts to collect a Brazilian flag in deference to his hero Ayrton Senna. This was against the rules and the FIA don’t want it to set a precedent for junior drivers coming through the ranks which is a fair point.

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“The Brazilian crowd, with no driver of their own on the grid, racing a car anyway, really took to Lewis again, knowing his admiration and inspiration for Senna.

“Initially, I found it a bit odd that he wasn’t wrapped in a Union Jack, but he was re-enacting an iconic moment, and with a drive which Ayrton would have been very impressed with.”

Brundle also added that Red Bull had “few answers” in front of Hamilton’s Mercedes on the day, and “no answers when behind him.”

Prior to the race weekend, Hamilton had taken to Twitter to reaffirm his respect for Senna, saying his legacy would live forever.

 

“My greatest inspiration. It was the way he raced, his passion for life and for the sport.

“But more than anything it was the way he faced alone a system that wasn’t always kind to him. May Ayrton Senna’s legacy live on forever, especially vibrant this weekend.”

Hamilton now heads to Qatar with his title hopes very much reinvigorated, with the superior straight-line speed Mercedes showed in Brazil likely to favour them again in Qatar.

An eighth world title would see him stand alone as the most successful F1 driver of all time, a record he currently shares with Michael Schumacher. 

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