Lewis Hamilton has praised the “inspiring” legacy of Prince Philip as Formula 1 prepares to pay tribute with a minute's silence before qualifying at Imola on Saturday.
Hamilton, who was knighted last year, had not spoken about Prince Philip’s death last Friday, aside from re-posting Vogue’s Instagram tribute with the words: "So sad... my thoughts and prayers go out to the royal family."
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton said: “The Duke of Edinburgh was such a racing fan and it’s so sad to hear of his passing.
“He had a really great long life and I know he was really committed to having an impact and helping young people. I think it’s pretty inspiring the legacy he has left behind.”
The Duke of Edinburgh died at the age of 99 on Friday and his funeral is to be held at St George's Chapel, Windsor, at 3pm on Saturday, 17 April.
This weekend's F1 race schedule has been revised to prevent the qualifying session from clashing with the funeral, bringing it ahead by an hour to now run from 1-2pm UK [2-3pm CET].
Hamilton, who regularly speaks of his desire to inspire a young generation, was presented with an MBE in 2009 and the Queen's official twitter account made a rare post to congratulate the Mercedes driver for his record-equalling title last year.
Continuing his tribute, Hamilton added: “My thoughts are with Her Majesty and her family and I hope that we can continue to race and I am sure he will be watching from above.”