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Senna memories make Imola trophy “a keeper” - Hamilton

Senna memories make Imola trophy “a keeper” - Hamilton

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Senna memories make Imola trophy “a keeper” - Hamilton

Senna memories make Imola trophy “a keeper” - Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has declared his winner’s trophy from Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola as “a keeper” due to the memories he holds of childhood hero Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident at the circuit in 1994.

Imola became the 29th different racetrack Hamilton has won at during his record-breaking F1 career, but he conceded that while all trophies are special, this one will take pride of place in the cabinet.

“We’ve not had a race here for a long time (and) it is where I remember the day when I was in karting in ’94, at Rye House, when Ayrton passed away," said Hamilton.

“To think that we’re here, 26 years later, and to be able to win here as he had done many times, yes, the trophy definitely is a keeper.”

Three-time world champion Senna won at Imola three times, in 1988, 1989 and 1991, but lost his life at the track in 1994 when his Williams crashed into the wall at the high-speed Tamburello corner.

The Brazilian was remembered on the 2020 race trophy, which was shaped in the circuit layout with a 0.14-carat diamond where his accident occurred and a plaque attached containing the words ‘Dedicate ad Ayrton'.

Hamilton said: “There was a time when trophies were, from the young days, from karting, little plastic… But they’re so special, they all had such a great meaning and then as you get through the categories they would get nicer, more expensive.

“In F1, they were so stunning, but then we went through a patch where they did a cost-cutting scheme and we had some really dodgy, flimsy trophies. Those did not survive the time. This one felt like it had a good weight to it.

“When we came back, just before we came in the podium, we saw there was a lady there doing the engraving, which is probably the first time I’ve seen that being done.”

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