Vroom... he rode!

F1 Racing

Vroom... he rode!

Rubber was truly burnt as Lewis Hamilton, legendary Formula 1 racer, took to the roads in Bangalore on Tuesday. Exhibiting his skills on a five hundred metre track on NICE Road, he astounded the whopping 10,000 fans who had gathered there to watch him.

Emotions ran high at the venue as the crowds built up, waiting to catch a glimpse of this racing legend. Much to the excitement of the girls in the crowd, VJ Rannvijay appeared as a special guest on the track. Casually dressed in a black leather jacket and shades, he kept the crowd entertained by asking them some F1-related trivia and tossing merchandise personally signed by Hamilton into the crowd. Cricketer Javagal Srinath had also come to see the event.

To everyone’s delight, Hamilton then raced down the track in his award-winning MP4-23, the same car which won him the Drivers’ World Championship in 2008.  Excitement levels mounted as he then switched to a Mercedes AMG, and cruised down the track with twelve lucky contestants who had been picked before-hand to drive with Hamilton.

These included 13-year-old Harsh MesWane, who auctioned for this chance and was donating all the proceeds to charity. Apart from him, Viju, a resident of Bangalore and Ashok Kheny, the MD of NICE Road were also lucky enough to be driven by Hamilton in his Mercedes.

While the former said that sitting beside the racer was truly an honour, the latter described the experience as a ‘roller-coaster ride’. This is Hamilton’s fourth visit to India, and he said that the response he got in Bangalore was incredible. “It feels great to come to Bangalore for the first time. It’s awesome to be here. You guys are amazing,” he exclaimed. He was especially impressed that the crowds were so large despite the fact that the venue was an hour’s drive from the City.

Lewis said, “I didn’t expect to see so many people here, because I didn’t realise that so many people in Bangalore followed F1. What’s surprising is the kind of passion I can feel here – I knew it was there for cricket, but I didn’t think it would be there for this.” He added that the response that the City had given him was even more hardcore than the British Grand Prix.

About his speed at the event, Lewis said, “My speed today wasn’t very high. There wasn’t enough space and there were too many people. I might have touched 150 kmps, which isn’t very fast for me. In the last race, we touched 320 and in the previous one, 350.” He confessed that another reason he loved visiting India was because of the food.

“I love eating chicken tikka masala. When I was younger, my family and I used to go to an Indian restaurant and order takeaway. Even now, I still have it every time I go home,” he reminisced.

Talking about the passion for sports in India, he said that the country still had a while to go before it would be on a par with Europe.

“People love sports over here, but there isn’t the kind of infrastructure that we have in Europe. Hopefully, as more investment comes in, we can really build a foundation for the kids who love sports over here,” he said.

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