Lewis Hamilton would love to end Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix just like last year – to the sound of boos, whistles and catcalls from the crowd.
So much so, that the 2008 Formula 1 World Champion said on the eve of the Monza weekend that he would even be willing to pay for the privilege.
Hamilton won at Monza’s ‘Pista Magica’ last year for McLaren, ahead of three Ferrari-powered cars including the one driven for the Maranello team by crowd favourite and title contender Fernando Alonso.
He was booed as he stood on the top step of the podium, which juts out over the start-finish straight, by the fanatical Ferrari ‘tifosi’ who flowed on to the track like a red wave after the race.
Hamilton, who was not best pleased at the time, smiled when reminded of it.
“I would love to have that experience again this year – I’d pay to have that experience,” said the Mercedes driver. “If I’m up there and I’m being booed that means I’ve won, so I definitely want that.
“I’m sure it will be the same this year. Surprisingly I have a lot of support here, which I wouldn’t expect,” added the Briton.
“It’s probably going to take a long time before all the Ferrari fans change their opinion of me.”
If anything, he can expect the boos to be even louder this year if he makes it back-to-back wins.
Hamilton has started the last four races from pole position and goes into the race third overall in the championship, just 12 points behind second-placed Alonso and 58 adrift of Red Bull’s overall leader Sebastian Vettel with eight races remaining. (Reuters)
Subbed by AJN.