The Daily Telegraph

Hamilton delivers heartfelt tribute to Queen

- Formula One By Tom Cary SENIOR SPORTS CORRESPOND­ENT at Monza

Lewis Hamilton led Formula One’s tributes to Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, describing her as “an inspiratio­n” and a “symbol of hope for so many”, as practice got under way ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Ferrari topped both sessions in Monza to suggest they will have an excellent chance of restoring a bit of pride and winning their home grand prix. But the day was overshadow­ed by the death on Thursday of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. A minute’s silence was held before the start of first practice, with Formula One’s chief executive Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem joining the teams in the pitlane. Hamilton had by then posted a tribute on Instagram in which he recalled the time he spent with her.

“It is something I’ll never forget. We talked about our shared love of dogs and she was incredibly generous with her time,” Hamilton wrote. “She was a symbol of hope for so many and she served her country with dignity, dedication and kindness. She was truly like no other and I’m grateful to have lived during her time. Her legacy will be long-lasting and her passing deeply felt.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, meanwhile, recalled a lunch at Buckingham Palace where the late Queen was well briefed, asking him why Red Bull’s drivers were not getting along.

If Ferrari are to win tomorrow, it will likely have to be via Charles Leclerc, with team-mate Carlos Sainz having to drop to the back of the field after taking new parts. But Leclerc’s task has been helped with many of Ferrari’s main rivals also picking up grid penalties. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have both opted to take new internal combustion engines, which will drop them down the grid five and 10 places respective­ly. Hamilton starts from the back after taking a new power unit.

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