Lewis Hamilton and his Monaco dreams, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Lewis Hamilton and his Monaco dreams

MONTE CARLO – Lewis Hamilton said he was grateful for a moment of reflection on May 23, when he recalled his first visits to Monaco and the realisation of his teenage dreams.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s 81st running of the Monaco Grand Prix, the seven-time world champion said he had a striking sense of the history and majesty of the event that he first attended as a 13-year-old, as he arrived in the famous harbour driving through the tunnel.

“I really felt the place and its history and as I came through the tunnel I remembered Ayrton (Senna) from watching it on TV as a kid and that it felt surreal,” the Mercedes driver said.

“It was my dream when I was 13... I came here the first time and I thought this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and I want to live here.”

Hamilton, now 39, not only realised that dream, winning the Monaco Grand Prix three times – in 2008, 2016 and 2019 – but by buying an apartment and living in the Mediterranean principality.

“I raced here the first time when I was 18 or 19,” he added.

“In Formula Three. And it was epic. I had a rented scooter and I was running around town and I went up to Eze and it was really epic. And then, I got to go on the grid and it was crazy because I had only ever seen Martin Brundle there.

“It’s a crazy place, a special place, it’s the pearl of our sport and the second smallest country in the world.”

Turning his focus back to the action this week, the Briton, who is set to join Ferrari next season, has not allowed the demise of Mercedes’ form to diminish his pleasure from driving.

Now a veteran in the sport, he takes a more mellowed view of his racing than he did as a forceful younger man.

That said, he is still relishing the opportunity to compete at one of his favourite venues.

“I am more excited than I have been with the previous two cars. They were not so great. This one is a real work in progress and it’s much better than last year,” Hamilton added.

“I hope we just hit the ground running and we don’t look back, but that’s not been the case for the last two years. But this car is more predictable and it is nice to drive. It’s not perfect, but we are going in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz reportedly is no longer under consideration to replace Hamilton at Mercedes.

Sainz is seeking clarity on his next move in the coming weeks, but Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff continues to evaluate the performance of rising junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

“Why isn’t Carlos Sainz going to Mercedes? That conversation has already been had as I understand it and the timescale Mercedes are working towards in terms of making their decision doesn’t fit with what Carlos Sainz wants himself,” Sky Sports reporter Craig Slater said.

“He wants his contract situation sorted in the next few weeks rather than months.” – AFP, REUTERS

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