Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Harry crowns Alonso Gran Prix king

Prince Harry chats with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the pits before the Formula One Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Racing royalty met a real royal on Sunday as Prince Harry crowned Fernando Alonso king of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The royal brought added excitement to an already electric race as he toured the paddock, garages, pit lane and grid ahead of the event, then presented the trophy to Ferrari driver Alonso.

But Harry, 26, might have been disappointed by the result after saying before the race that he would be cheering for British drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

The McLaren team-mates missed out on podium spots with Red Bull rivals Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber taking second and third places.

Before the race, Harry said: "I'll be cheering on Jenson and Lewis, big time. Obviously weather is playing a big part, as it always does at Silverstone. I'm hoping for rain, just because I think it will be better for McLaren, but we will have to wait and see."

But his wish did not come true, with some parts of the circuit staying dry.

Vettel may have had the last laugh on the royal after Harry joked with him on a visit to the Red Bull garage that he would be supporting McLaren drivers Button and Hamilton.

Harry is now rumoured to be dating Button's former girlfriend Florence Brudenell-Bruce, but their conversation stuck firmly to racing, with the royal wishing both drivers a "safe drive".

Harry was met and escorted by former racing drivers Damon Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart, president and vice president of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC).

He watched the race with them and other dignitaries including Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. After presenting the trophy to Alonso to cheers from the crowd, Harry managed to escape a shower of champagne and leave the circuit.

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