Ace of the Race thrills City

Ace of the Race thrills City

The lack of length of the stretch on NICE road, where he exhibited his skills, was hardly a deterrent for Hamilton, though it did prevent him from touching peak speed.
Going up to 150 kilometres per hour on the short course, he was in his elements as he spun the car around viciously and completed a couple of tyre burns, before swapping the F1 car for a Mercedes convertible.

Ten lucky Bangaloreans, who came through contests and auctions, had the thrill of their lives as they sat next to Hamilton for the ‘Hot Laps’ —each one privileged to have a run up and down the track.

On Monday, the organisers had announced that a hand-picked gathering of not more than 5,000 people would witness Hamilton’s wizardry on a 500-metre stretch on the NICE Road. Accordingly, they had erected only a thin barricade to separate the road from the stands. However, more than 20,000 people turned up at the venue, and that even before Hamilton got the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 F1 car started.

While people stuffed themselves into the venue and all through the make-shift stands, Hamilton slid into the car and let its cat-like shriek roar through the stands, bringing all other activity to a standstill.

“I think the turn-out in Bangalore today was incredible,” said Hamilton afterwards.
“I never expected to see so many people out here. I’ve had similar experiences during my previous trips to India and it shows how much people here follow Formula One. When I came here in the morning for a recce, I didn’t see too many people, so I expected something similar during the event. But I was absolutely surprised when I came out, I’ve never seen such a reaction before. I thought this passion was reserved for cricket; I never ever thought they would be so passionate about Formula One.”

Rahul Gowda, a college student who soaked in the pyrotechnics, said it was a huge honour for Bangalore to host the Briton. “I have been a big fan of Hamilton for a very long time. He is absolutely brilliant. We can easily relate to his aggressive style of driving. He went to Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi and all the while, we were waiting for him to come here. It’s an honour to be in his presence.”

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