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Tifosi boo winner Hamilton

2012-09-10 08:41

MONZA, Italy - A victorious Lewis Hamilton spoke a few words of Italian from the Monza podium but there was no winning over the red-capped crowd on the track beneath the McLaren driver.

They booed Hamilton, a low growl that contrasted with the roar of approval that greeted Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso as he stepped up to the third place step.

Beating a Ferrari driver at the temple of Italian motorsport is never a comfortable experience as the hordes of "tifosi" invade the track.

Hamilton said: "It's much nicer in Silverstone. It's not as special as it is in Silverstone or Monaco but it's one of those special GP's as this is a very historic circuit.

"I wish we had a better reception here but I know and I could hear the great Brit fans we had here this weekend who were standing in among the crowd of Italian Ferrari fans... I noticed every one of them when we did the parade lap."

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Hamilton cut a low-key figure compared to the celebrations going on elsewhere in the paddock.

ALONSO DELIGHT


Alonso, who finished third after rivals Red Bull suffered a rare double retirement, was possibly the happiest man in the paddock.

It was a close-run thing with the Sergio Perez, who finished second for Sauber, also beaming as his team passed around the tequila in their motorhome.

Even Jenson Button, Hamilton's team mate who retired from the race while in second place, seemed happier than Hamilton at the team group photograph with the trophies.

Maybe that was because, after being runner-up at Monza for the past three years, Button did not have to face what he has called a "football crowd". Italian fans cheered loud enough when his car rolled to a standstill by the side of the track.

Hamilton has been in the spotlight all weekend, the subject of endless speculation about his F1 future amid rumours he could be lured to Mercedes in 2013 as a replacement for Michael Schumacher.

The 2008 World champion, who failed to finish in Belgium after being caught in a first-corner pile-up that also ended Alonso's race, might as well have been on a different planet according to his post race comments.

DEMEANOUR CLOUDED

Hamilton said: "It's been a good weekend, just nice and calm and collected. It's an incredible feeling. It's phenomenal. You never know what's going to happen when you come into a race weekend but I've been so happy that it's just gone quite smoothly."

Speaking separately to British reporters, his demeanour clouded - perhaps as much a result of the unwelcome speculation as the immediate line of questioning.

Asked about Alonso getting a bigger cheer and him being booed, he replied simply: "And...?" The podium reception, he added, had made no difference.

Alonso said: "Standing on any podium is great when you're on the top. It's quite incredible to see how many people were on the straight.

"I've never seen that. Even when I came second in the past I can't remember seeing such a lot. Pretty much the whole straight was covered in people... incredible."

Reuters