Belfast Telegraph

My man's sport comment wasn't aimed at Norris, insists Hamilton

 

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton has assured Lando Norris his claim that Formula One should be a man's sport was not aimed at the British teenager.

Rookie Norris (19) took umbrage with his compatriot's remarks on the eve of tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix, believing them to be a jibe directed at him and his fellow British novice George Russell (21).

But in a post on Instagram, five-time world champion Hamilton moved to diffuse his spat with Norris, insisting the McLaren driver is delivering the goods in his maiden campaign.

"Honestly not targeting anyone, and definitely not you (Norris)," said Hamilton, who later deleted the post. "It's a wider point I am speaking of. You are doing a great job. I wasn't a teenager when I got here."

Hamilton (34), now in his 13th season, is gearing up for the seventh round of his Championship defence at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The Mercedes star, who holds a 17-point title lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas, has been in a buoyant mood this weekend.

Speaking at length about leaving a lasting legacy by improving diversity, and patching up his relationship with father Anthony, Hamilton declared he is now in the best place he has been in his life.

In an interview with David Letterman, which recently aired on Netflix, Anthony said he was heartbroken when his son dropped him as manager in 2010. He also revealed they did not speak for two years.

Yet, nearly a decade on, the hatchet has seemingly been buried. Before flying out to New York en route to Montreal, Hamilton dined in London with his father, step-mother Linda and brother Nic to celebrate Anthony's 63rd birthday.

"Our relationship is fantastic now," said Hamilton. "Unfortunately it wasn't always great but that happens with families. Sometimes it takes time apart for people to rebuild and grow.

"As you get older, you realise how precious time is. I'm definitely in the best place I've ever been."

Hamilton has been boosted by a new engine for Canada.

In opening practice, the Mercedes cars finished comfortably clear of anyone else.

Hamilton ended the first running 0.147 seconds clear of Bottas. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was third, nearly a second behind.

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