Absent Lewis Hamilton Booed at F1 Live Event in London
Yesterday was a historic moment for Formula One that saw iconic race cars from across several decades race down the streets of Trafalgar Square and leave plenty of rubber behind, as most of the drivers ignored the directive not to do donuts just inches away from the crowds.
Every single driver on the Formula One grid was present save for Lewis Hamilton, the local man who would be representing the country at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone just days later. Hamilton preferred to take his private jet to a two-day holiday in Greece, saying he had felt it was the best way to prepare for the race.
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“Lewis feels he is in such a tough championship fight that he needed the days off after Austria,” said Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal. Hamilton finished fourth in Austria, two places down on his championship rival Sebastian Vettel.
Whatever his reasons, the fans at the F1 Live event in London made their disappointment known. More than 100,000 attended the show organized by Liberty Media, the sport’s new owners, and a fair few made their voices heard when, on repeated occasion, the hosts asked the crowd whether they would prefer Vettel or Hamilton to win the upcoming British Grand Prix.
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It was surprising to hear so many boos for Hamilton and so many cheers for Vettel. A German getting cheered over a Brit in the heart of London? Just days ahead of the British Grand Prix? And days after Vettel had controversially hit Hamilton’s car on the race track and somehow escaped with more points?
Hamilton has stated that the goal is to win the race in Silverstone. If he doesn’t but still makes the podium to face the crowd, we might hear, for the first time, British fans boo a British driver at the British Grand Prix.