The irony of those words during an interview with Lewis Hamilton published in The Independent the day before F1’s live promo at the capital.
Liberty media gave us a taster of their strategy for promoting Formula One around a race weekend with the London Live event at Trafalgar square yesterday and by all accounts it seems to have been a hit.
McLaren boss Zak Brown was just one of those that tweeted his thoughts during the event.
Thousands of Formula One fans, many of which it would be fair to say were Hamilton followers, mingled with tourists and the general public during the event. All drivers apart from Lewis, were paraded in front of the crowds with cars doing doughnuts up and down the street creating a spectacle unlike anything seen in the capital before.
It was requested that all drivers attend the event despite the fact that never before have the drivers been contracted to the sport for promotional work. But events such as London Live will become more and more common as Liberty’s strategy to include fans and grow the sport becomes established.
Where does that leave Lewis Hamilton? The UK’s number one driver and championship contender would surely attend an event just days prior to the British Grand Prix? Au contraire, the Mercedes driver tweeted prior to the event that he was going on a holiday.
Gutting for the fans who found out the week prior that he’d be attending after reading articles such as the one published in the Daily Mail;
“Lewis Hamilton to drive through the streets of London as part of Formula One parade in the capital ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone”
The cost of staying in the capital at short notice is somewhat eye watering but no doubt plenty of dedicated fans would’ve planned and booked hotels last minute in order to see their hero.
Lewis will be quizzed by the media later today during the build up to the Silverstone weekend and will no doubt give his reasons for not attending but it is unlikely he’ll mention a very likely financial motivation.
It has been argued before that Lewis is supporting Lewis, so it should not come as a surprise when the outrage by many Brits (other than the Hamfosi) when this tax exile drapes himself in Union Jack on the podium. Particularly when considering Hamilton not showing at the London Live event could be his 90 day non residence tax free allowance period had already been allocated. Although just speculation, it appears to be a very real possibility – why else the British driver wouldn’t attend if he’s so frustrated wishes ‘there was more time to see the fans’?
‘I wish there was more time to see the fans,’ Hamilton said in an interview with David Tremayne which was ironically published in the Independent yesterday. ‘You see them at such a distance, it sucks.
‘The crowd-surfing (when he won Silverstone for the fourth time in 2016) was the greatest thing for me because it was the first time I really got to engage with them in a different way
‘Hopefully when I’m on the podium and I carry the flag, people will start to see my patriotism. Being British is something I’m very proud of and maybe that’s just going to take time to show.’