Lewis Hamilton explains what he loves about the USA and how Formula One has grown in the country since his first visit.
Formula One failed to break the American market during the 1980s and the early 2000s. Motorsport fans in the United States still preferred the familiar names of NASCAR and IndyCar over F1.
However, the Circuit of the Americas welcomed Formula One back to the United States with open arms in Austin, Texas.
Lewis Hamilton went on to win the 2014 US Grand Prix finishing just ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. He had already become a celebrity in the country after his appearance on the TODAY show a week before the race.
Lewis Hamilton describes the ever-growing F1 culture and New York City
The 2014 World Champion spoke with his fans and media in New York City during his visit for the interview with the TODAY show.
When asked about what he loves about this particular city, Hamilton said: “Growing up and watching TV, I just remember different movies. Seeing New York City and lots of different cities in the states, you always dream of visiting here. So when you come here, all these tall rising buildings, weather has been amazing.”
He was thrilled to see the change in people’s perception of Formula One. According to him, not many people seemed enthusiastic about the sport when the Briton last visited America.
He added: “First years when I got here, I don’t think people really knew too much about F1. It is great that it is expanding. Moreover, with the people coming down today and the signboards, I got a positive energy today.”
Hamilton supports Miami Heat
Much to the sadness of New Yorkers, Hamilton is a Miami Heat fan. When asked about which is his favorite American sport, Hamilton was quick to discuss NBA.
He added: “I don’t really know in the NFL. But Miami Heat, especially last couple of years watching the seven-game finals has been incredible.”
The Mercedes driver was quick to admire people’s enthusiasm regarding sports and competitions in the USA. He added: “The people are so enthusiastic about sports which is huge.”
When asked about fans’ importance in races, Hamilton described the positive energy, the fans radiate. He added: “Just arriving and the energy you get from the fans when they turn up in your jersey or cards, you cannot measure it.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 2, 2016