First it was Fernando Alonso, now maybe Lewis Hamilton wants to try the Indianapolis 500?
The three-time Formula 1 champion drew a step closer to a fourth F1 crown on Sunday when he won the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. But uppermost on the Mercedes driver’s mind during the post-race podium interview was checking out the Indy 500 winner’s ring worn by Takuma Sato.
Formula 1 invites a celebrity to conduct the podium television interviews for each event and selected Sato, who won the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May, to be the interviewer at the race in his home country. Sato is a national hero since becoming the first Japanese driver to win “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
When Sato summoned Hamilton to be interviewed, the Brit was more interested in trying on Sato’s ring than talking about the race he had just won.
“Can I try this ring?” Hamilton asked Sato before the latter had the chance to ask a question about the race. “Can I just see if it’s worth me going and doing it one day?”
Sato gave the ring to Hamilton, who tried it on and showed it off to the crowd.
“It looks pretty good,” Hamilton said. “Congratulations.”
OK, maybe the chances of Hamilton making a bid for an Indy 500 winner’s ring and his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy are remote. But people were stunned when the announcement came that Alonso was giving it a try, and that turned out well. Alonso, the two-time F1 champion, started his first Verizon IndyCar Series race from fifth and led 27 laps before an engine failure ended his day 20 laps from the finish.