PHOTO | Lewis Hamilton 1st. at Canadian Grand Prix

 
In the lead-up to this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, three-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton was asked to reflect on his special relationship with this city over the last decade. It’s been a remarkable story. The 32-year-old Briton scored the first victory of his F1 career here, in 2007, and in the process became the first black Grand Prix winner in history. Since then, he has won four more times in Montreal, far eclipsing all other current drivers, none of whom is a repeat winner at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Hamilton also leads with five pole positions, two more than Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton’s five victories here are two short of the record held by the great Michael Schumacher — a mark that does not seem far out of reach for the Mercedes ace who shows no signs of slowing down. Recalling his maiden win, he said, “I remember standing on the podium (in 2007) and looking down at my dad and just seeing the biggest smile I’d ever seen in my life on his face, which was a very proud moment. “Since then, I’ve just grown a lot with Canada and with Montreal,” he told a news conference at the track on Île Notre-Dame. “The city’s one of the greatest cities. I’ve not been here when it’s not been a Grand Prix, but there’s a huge buzz here. “I love being here. I try and get here a bit early, because the food’s great, the people are great, and I generally get left alone. So it’s a good weekend.” Told that this year marks half a century of Grand Prix racing in Canada, Hamilton observed: “Formula One is obviously made up of a lot of great countries, a lot of great races, but there are the exceptional races and there’s only a few of them. This race is in that few.” Asked specifically what changes he’d seen during the last 10 years, he grinned as he described witnessing the annual bottleneck of pedestrians and official vehicles making their way to the island circuit. A TV reporter ducks to try to get Lewis Hamilton’s attention as Hamilton walks across a pontoon bridge at the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Friday June 9, 2017. “Coming to the track today — I don’t know where the bridge is? Normally they stop the traffic to let the fans walk through. After 10 years or 15 years or whatever, they’ve finally built a stairway to go up and over the road. I don’t know who did that but …” Hamilton was too polite to finish the thought, but it’s not hard to guess what he was thinking: “About time, Montreal.” It would be fun to get his observations on road conditions on the way in from the airport, but he has other things on his mind — namely, a big race on Sunday. On that subject, there was no hint of a grin from Hamilton. Mercedes and Ferrari have split the first six races of the season, but he believes the characteristics of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are better suited to this year’s red cars than the silver ones.
 
BACK
 
Questo sito é stato realizzato da Vittorio Verrillo (vive@sanpietresiallestero.com)
Hanno contribuito: Anna Maria Barone, Frank Verrillo, Margherita Rainone, David Verrillo
© Sanpietresi All'estero 2019