LE CASTELLET, France -- Lewis Hamilton said he was happy to contribute to a "beautiful" sporting Sunday for England by winning the French Grand Prix.
The start of the Paul Ricard race was pushed back by several hours to accommodate England's second World Cup game against Panama, which was shown by numerous teams in the paddock. England's resounding 6-1 win secured safe passage to the knockout rounds.
After completing his comfortable win at Paul Ricard, Hamilton opened up his radio channel to say: "Great job, guys. So happy for England as well. It's a beautiful Sunday"
When growing up in Stevenage, Hamilton was school classmates with current England midfielder Ashley Young, who has started both games in the World Cup. Despite the delay to the start of the race, the usual pre-race activities prevented Hamilton from cheering on Young and his teammates.
"Honestly, I didn't get to see the England game," Hamilton said after the race. "When I walked into the garage to put my helmet on I saw the screen and it was 6-0 at the time and when I went out to the track for three laps before the grid and going to the toilet I saw again it was 6-1 but jeez that is a mighty score. What a great result for England today."
Max Verstappen was seated alongside Hamilton during the media conference and then asked the Mercedes driver if he thought England would "bring it home."
Hamilton smiled and replied: "I mean, I hope so! They need to keep opening a can of whoop-ass on everyone then that could be frickin' awesome. I don't know how England would take it if we did win the World Cup."
Later in the media session Hamilton, who is England and Great Britain's most successful F1 driver, was asked how he felt representing his country, to which he said: "There are a lot of teams in the UK, a lot of British teams, but individually we are all holding our own flag representing our own countries. When I have days like today, I look up and see the Union Jack above me. It is honestly such a great feeling.
"On top of that I grew up playing football, something I was massively into but had to stop as I was in the teenage phase when hacking was crazy and didn't want to get injured and not race. To watch England every year, I used to collect the cards, and hoped they'd win the World Cup.
"Year on year, we didn't get it, but it is great to see the success as we have so much talent in the UK and I can't get it in my mind why we haven't won more. So to have the result today is a great day for the UK, hopefully I have contributed in a positive way to that today."