SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Formula One world champion
Lewis Hamilton has achieved a long-time ambition by paying his
respects to boyhood idol Ayrton Senna at the Brazilian's grave.
The 24-year-old McLaren driver told reporters he had gone to
Sao Paulo's Morumbi cemetery on Wednesday, the day he arrived in
Brazil, to see the three-time world champion's final resting place.
"It was good but there were a couple of other people there
so it wasn't a private kind of thing. I was there for five
minutes maximum and then I left," Hamilton said at the
"It is very simple, just a plaque. For me it was special,"
added the Briton, who shares Senna's Catholic faith as well as
driving for the team that took the Brazilian to his titles in
1988, 1990 and 1991.
"I'd wanted to do it for the last two years but I was being
followed and all kinds. I wasn't [this time], I don't think I
was at least."
Hamilton had hoped to visit the grave last year, when he was
locked in a title battle with Brazilian Felipe Massa, but was
unable to break away from the constant media attention.
This year, with his campaign faltering early in the season
when it became apparent his McLaren was well off the pace, he
has had more freedom of movement.
"Every time I come here I feel a different emotion,"
Hamilton said last year. "I think it's because he [Senna] meant
so much to me ... when I was younger and coming up through the
ranks. I can feel his presence.
"I don't aim to be or believe anyone can be another Ayrton
Senna. He was one of a kind. But I aim to try and make him proud
and be as good as he was one day."
Senna died at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.