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Hamilton: & # 39; Robust & # 39; Senna recollections of F1's Imola return

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Lewis Hamilton says he was offered a "hard memory" of where his idol Ayrton Senna was killed during his Imola track tour, but admits it is also "heartwarming" to race on an Italian circuit. Watch Emilia Romagna GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend only

Last update: 10/30/20 6:50 PM

Lewis Hamilton spoke before the Emilia Romagna GP

Lewis Hamilton has explained how moving it is to drive at Imola this weekend as he prepares for his Formula 1 debut on the track where hero Ayrton Senna tragically lost his life.

After a 14 year absence, the sport is back for an Emilia Romagna GP in Imola – a historic venue that brings back painful memories of the 1994 San Marino GP. Roland Ratzenberger and three-time F1 champion Senna were killed in falls on consecutive days over this fateful weekend.

Hamilton, who began his F1 career a year after the final race of the championship in Imola, toured the circuit on Friday, passing Senna monuments and "the hard memory of where Ayrton crashed" his Williams – the Tamburello corner .

But while admitting the harsh emotions, Hamilton also said it was "heartwarming" to go where his athletic inspiration last ran.

"It's great to be on this historic track," said Hamilton, who wore a yellow helmet in Senna's honor during his early motorsport and F1 career.

2:42 Lewis Hamilton says it has been "mind blowing" to get so many positive messages from people he admires after taking his 92nd victory in Portugal

Lewis Hamilton says it has been "mind blowing" to get so many positive messages from people he admires after taking his 92nd victory in Portugal

"It's still very surreal to me when I go places – when I drive through the tunnel in Monaco, I go to the British Grand Prix knowing that the greats of the past raced in those places.

"The fact that I used to be in an area where Ayrton did what is loved for who I am 26 years ago … in a way, it's heartwarming to know that I can be here and do what he does Did. "

Many Formula 1 drivers visited the Ayrton Senna memorial in Imola on Friday

Many Formula 1 drivers visited the Ayrton Senna memorial in Imola on Friday

Hamilton also remembered the day Senna died.

"I remember that day when I was karting at Rye House," said Hamilton, who was nine at the time. “My dad had a red Vauxhall Cavalier and we had a white box trailer with a gas heater on the deep end of the trailer. I helped my dad fix the car.

"Somebody told him Ayrton had died and I remember that I had to walk away from my father because my father would never let me cry in front of him. I had to go to another place and it wasn't that easy.

"But I remember trying to put that sadness into my driving and I think I won that weekend. But the weeks that followed were very tough."

Hamilton isn't alone when it comes to being a huge Senna fan. Pierre Gasly unveils a Senna-style helmet for the Emilia Romagna GP this weekend.

The whole weekend is only live on Sky Sports F1. The first and last practice session begins on Saturday at 9 a.m. and qualifying at 1 p.m. The race takes place on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. and is set up from 11:30 a.m.

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Steven Gregory