Lewis Hamilton returns to Brazil this weekend with the goal of winning the technical milestone in the home race.
While that may sound confusing to some, Hamilton – born and raised in Stevenage – is now an honorary citizen of Brazil. Thus, the seven-time F1 world champion is set to rekindle a relationship with the Brazilian people that has had its ups and downs, and for a return home at an Interlagos circuit, where he has created great achievements. arguably the best moment on his track.
Hamilton’s quest to secure his first win of the season will be a huge challenge ahead of Max Verstappen’s dominance in 2022 and Mercedes’ struggles. However, speaking of the great Murray Walker, when Hamilton races in Sao Paulo, it seems that anything can happen, and it often happens…
2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
Hamilton’s first two seasons in Formula 1 saw Brazil become the final race decision place, in which Hamilton certainly felt like he was in the away team.
In 2007, fans backed Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Brazilian Felipe Massa’s teammate to Finn’s first and only world championship. The following year, the animosity turned serious when Massa became the man with whom Hamilton fought for the title.
After missing a painful point in 2007, Hamilton saved his first championship from the jaws of defeat, beating Massa by one point by overtaking – you know comment – Timo Glock in the last corner of the lap. final race.
The agony Hamilton went through in 2007, he inflicted on the Brazilian people in 2008. The British villain’s status in Brazil, is now consolidated.
An important figure in the story of Lewis Hamilton and Brazil is someone the British driver has never met.
Ayrton Senna was and continues to be a hero to many Brazilians. The three-time F1 champion not only raises his country’s flag on the global stage with his mesmerizing driving stunts, but also helps elevate the community through his philanthropic work. Senna’s state funeral – one of the largest in Brazilian history – demonstrated what he meant to the Brazilian people.
Senna also meant a lot to a young Hamilton growing up, Hamilton cites Senna as his inspiration throughout his career, he often paid homage to the Brazilian by teaming yellow helmet.
When looking back at these two great F1s, the similarities in drivability and philanthropy are evident. A third, less obvious comparison that can be drawn between the two is that they are both unafraid to stand up for what they feel is right, even if only their voices can be heard.
Senna’s impact on Hamilton to fight for positive change, even when feeling alone, is something the Briton alluded to seven years ago before his third championship pulled him on par with Senna.
“If Ayrton can keep going, he’ll win more races and more championships, so I think I’ll carry the baton for both of us,” Hamilton said. both of us, “
Brazilian Grand Prix 2016
The 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix is often remembered for Verstappen’s remarkable driving in torrential rain.
It’s easy to forget the racer who led the race from start to finish.
2016 was Lewis Hamilton’s first win at Interlagos in his 10th attempt. Finally winning, it became clear that winning in Brazil meant a little more as Hamilton shouted “Yes! Brazil!” as he wears a helmet in memory of Senna.
Perhaps this Senna-like act, coupled with Hamilton embracing his heroic country helped change Hamilton’s perception of the bad guy in Brazil.
Sao Paulo Grand Prix 2021
Hamilton’s epic victory in Brazil last year will go down in F1 history, with Sky Sports F1’s Damon Hill describing the seven-time champion’s performance as “one of the most amazingly motivated” he has ever seen. .
Hamilton entered the weekend with fierce rival Verstappen a substantial lead in the title race after two big wins in Austin and Mexico. Mercedes drivers need to win to keep the championship.
After taking pole position on Friday night before Saturday’s Sprint, Hamilton was disqualified due to his Mercedes back door opening 0.2mm more than the legal 85mm. Hamilton will start at the end of the field, and to make matters worse, he already has a five-goal penalty, due to a new engine part, from whatever he can generate. in Sprint.
With a quick Mercedes and some brave passes, Hamilton had a big lap to finish in fifth, securing 10th with his grid position on Sunday. He still has a lot of work to do with Verstappen starting in the front row.
Sunday arrived and Hamilton moved up to second, before battling Verstappen for the lead. The controversy of the season continued, as it saw Verstappen run both steering wheels off course and without penalty, much to Mercedes’ frustration. But in the end Hamilton took the lead, winning and celebrating with the fans who cheered him on all weekend, donning the green, yellow and blue Brazilian flags.
Winning in the face of adversity is the hallmark of Senna and Hamilton’s careers.
Hamilton winning that race and dedicating it to the people of Brazil created a link that led to a successful claim to make Hamilton an honorary citizen of what the British described as “one of the my favorite place”.
The Mercedes driver continued: “I really have no words right now. Thank you Brazil, I love you. I can’t wait to see you again.”
And so, this weekend, Hamilton will meet Brazil again. His relationship with Brazil will remain special whether he wins or not, but if Hamilton wins all year, then Interlagos is the place to be much more receptive to that.