• Hamilton puts Singapore GP disappointment behind him
• McLaren driver takes to streets in 2008 title-winning car
Lewis Hamilton may have left Singapore on Sunday barely saying a word, but on Tuesday he left an astonishing 40,000 crowd in India baying for more. Hamilton put his on-track woes and off-track feuds behind him as he paraded through the streets of Bengaluru in his world title-winning McLaren from 2008.
After seeing how many people had turned up to the event, part of Formula One’s promotional push ahead of the first Indian Grand Prix on 28-30 October, Hamilton conceded to being “overwhelmed”.
Coming two days after his disappointing fifth place in Singapore, where he incurred a fifth drive-through penalty of the year and had a post-race bust-up with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, it reminded Hamilton of why he loves the sport.
“It’s incredible,” said Hamilton. “I’ve visited India many times over the last couple of years and it’s never been more exciting to be here than now. The race is only weeks away and you can really feel the growing passion of the people, and the excitement levels continuing to build.
“Getting to drive my car on India’s public roads today was an incredible experience and I really hope it gave people a taste for the incredible spectacle of Formula One. There’s no better way to experience F1 than up close, so I think today’s event was a huge success.”
Although the Buddh International Circuit has yet to be officially sanctioned as race-ready by governing body the FIA, it is understood the latest inspection next month will pass without a hitch. Hamilton added: “Next month’s Indian Grand Prix is going to be a fantastic event for our sport, but also for the whole Indian nation.”