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    Lewis Hamilton is driving as well as he has in last eight years but Mercedes car letting him down, says Fernando Alonso

    LEWIS HAMILTON is driving as well as he has been for the last eight years, claims Fernando Alonso.The Mercedes star has struggled for results so far this season, in the much criticised new W13 car.
    Fernando Alonso has had his say on Lewis Hamilton’s start to the seasonCredit: EPA
    Hamilton, 37, finds himself sixth in the driver standings going into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
    His former team-mate Alonso, however, puts the blame entirely on Hamilton’s car.
    The Spaniard told the BBC: “Sometimes you have a better car, sometimes you have not such a good car and you still need to fight and make some progress.
    “This year we see that the driver is very important in F1 but not crucial.
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Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}BOY RACER .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Lewis posts brilliant throwback pic of him as a kid – and he’s ‘still the same’
    “Lewis is driving as good as he has been the last eight years.
    “He was dominating the sport and breaking all the records and 100-and-something pole positions.
    “And now he is doing a mega lap – as he said in Australia or somewhere like that – and he is one second behind. So, yeah – welcome.”
    Expanding on Hamilton’s incredible success, the Alpine driver continued: “This is F1. It is not going to be a fair sport in terms of numbers.
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    “This is a team sport more than anything and we tend to forget this, especially when we have success.
    “We are so happy for what we are achieving that even if we try to share with the team, all the headlines are for the driver.
    “It happened to me when I won the two championships. I was beating Michael Schumacher.
    “This was a big topic, but my car was more reliable at that time and had very good performance and you cannot praise enough that package because the headlines will still be the driver. And with Lewis it’s the same.
    “To have more than 100 pole positions in F1 is something unthinkable. You need to have the best car and package for many, many years.
    “We were doing magic laps sometimes and we were P15, and how do you explain that to people? It will be impossible.
    I still believe Lewis will eventually finish the championship in frontFernando Alonso
    “He deserves everything he’s achieved in the past but this year is a good reminder that in all those records and numbers there is a big part on what you have in your hands as a package in the car.”
    Silver Arrows new boy George Russell appears to have taken to the W13 more easily than Hamilton has so far, managing to achieve top five finishes in each race this season.
    Asked if Russell’s early joy is a surprise, Alonso replied: “Yes and no. George has been very fast in the last few years and I think everyone was expecting him to be a tough competitor for Lewis.
    “But I still believe Lewis will eventually finish the championship in front.
    “This is just a five-race championship, but eventually when things are more tricky or [there are] difficult situations, Lewis will still have more experience and maybe more talent.”
    George Russell has produced some impressive performancesCredit: Splash More

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    Formula 1 will NOT replace Russian GP this season as new 22-race calendar is confirmed

    FORMULA ONE will not replace the Russian Grand Prix this season, opting to stick with a 22 race calendar.The Russian GP was due to be the 17th race of the season on September 25, but was cancelled back in February amid the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
    F1 will stick with a 22-race calendarCredit: SPLASH NEWS
    F1 had planned to fill the slot to keep a record 23-race calendar with Qatar as well as another race in Singapore being considered.
    But a decision has since been made to stick with 22 races.
    The Sochi Autodrom event was set to kickstart one of the two triple headers after the summer break.
    But as a result of the race being axed, the drivers and teams will now have a weekend break before a Singapore-Japan double header.
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    Sky Sports are reporting that one of the main reasons behind the decision was due to logistical issues around EU freight rules.
    A fly-away race wouldn’t have been plain sailing either.
    Qatar in September would see drivers race in soaring heat and it would have taken place just two months before the country hosts the football World Cup.
    The Russian GP has had its contract terminated and will not be on the F1 calendar in future seasons.

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    F1 is back in action this weekend and it has returned to Europe for races in Barcelona followed by Monaco on May 29.
    Baku and Montreal follow in June, just ahead of the July 2 British GP and Silverstone.
    🏁 F1 2022 calendar: practice times, dates and racetrack info More

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    Lewis Hamilton looks like future champion in brilliant throwback picture of F1 legend as a kid

    LEWIS HAMILTON has left fans in a spin after sharing a throwback of himself as a super-cool kid.The 37-year-old posted the snap of a young go-karting star, looking straight at the camera in a pair of dark shades.
    The Brit hero posted an image of his younger self looking champion material
    The 37-year-old followed it up with a modern shot of him looking similar
    It is next to an image of Hamilton in modern times, sporting his Mercedes racing overalls with a pair of sunglasses on.
    The F1 legend captioned it: “At the end of the day, still that same kid.”
    Fans gushed over the photos of their hero looking cool in the classic pose.
    One user replied: “THE KING”.
    And Sir Lewis hasn’t needed to change, having been the youngest driver ever to win the British karting championship at the age of ten.
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    Meanwhile, he is reportedly left “astonished” after it emerged controversial former race director Michael Masi could return to Formula One.
    Masi, 44, was at the centre of a storm following last season’s dramatic finale in Abu Dhabi which saw Max Verstappen pip Hamilton to the drivers’ championship.
    But Hamilton didnt seem to mind too much when was seen at a Saturday Night Live after party in New York City last weekend.
    The seven-time title winner hung out with Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne.
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    SUN BINGO GET £50 BONUS & 50 FREE SPINS TODAY

    The Spanish Grand Prix is next up on the F1 race calendar as the world’s fastest drivers descend upon Catalunya this weekend.
    Verstappen has had a great season so far, winning three of the five events, but Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc isn’t far behind.
    Hamilton has had to endure a tricky season so far as Mercedes continue to deal with porpoising issues.
    He will be hopeful he can secure his second podium finish of the season in Spain, but he has to contend with team-mate George Russell. More

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    F1 icon Lewis Hamilton has been warned that wearing jewellery risks ‘years of agony’ as the FIA prepare to clampdown

    LEWIS HAMILTON has been warned by Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Alex Wurz that wearing jewellery risks “years of agony”.The FIA are planning a crack down on the issue of drivers competing wearing jewellery.
    Lewis Hamilton is keen to keep racing with jewellery for the rest of the 2022 seasonCredit: Rex
    Mercedes ace Hamilton has vowed to carry on competing with his nose stud inCredit: Reuters
    Ruled imposed by the FIA forbid drivers wearing jewellery during races, which started at the inaugural Miami GP.
    SunSport understands that Mohammed bin Sulayem, the FIA’s President, is fixated on cracking down on Hamilton, as he flexes his muscles since taking the role in December.
    Mercedes ace Hamilton has been given a two-race exemption from the rules after declaring he has at least two piercings he is unable to remove.
    The 37-year-old has been given until the Monaco Grand Prix to make sure he isn’t breaking the rules, but he is keen to be given an exemption to race with jewellery for the rest of the season.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}MAS SHOCK .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Hamilton ‘astonished’ after FIA president hints race director Masi could return
    British icon Hamilton has vowed to keep racing with a nose stud despite the prospect of being slapped with a huge fine.
    He has even been warned by Ted Kravitz that he could be BANNED from racing should he fail to remove all of his piercings.
    And now GDPA chairman Wurz has insisted that Hamilton is making a mistake by keeping his jewellery on as he stated that the FIA rules are in place to protect drivers.
    Wurz, who raced in F1 from 1997-2007, revealed he never forgot a talk given by Danish race Kris Nissen in 1988 when he was youngster.
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    Nissen was involved in a fiery crash at Japan’s Fuji circuit in 1988 where inappropriate clothing led to prolonged suffering.
    Quoted by Sky Sports, Wurz said: “He showed his body and said ‘look at this’.
    “For him the absolute most painful thing after fire, and it wasn’t a long fire, was the rubber (elastic) in his normal pants being burnt into the skin.
    “He said (it was) for years agony and pain. And it educated me.
    “At this moment I said I don’t want to live these consequences, only for (not) taking my pants off and putting fireproof underpants on. The same with jewellery.
    “It is a rule for the right reasons. I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message.
    “I don’t want to end up in football where there are more hands in the air and verbal abuse… you have to work together. It’s a style I would have preferred in this case.” More

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    Ben Hunt: McLaren’s decision to join Formula E could be a masterstroke… both on and off the track

    McLAREN’S decision to join Formula E could prove to be a masterstroke — both on the track and in the boardroom.The legendary Formula One team confirmed last week that they will join the series next season in time for the Gen3 era — the third generation of the all-electric racing car that promises to give the championship a boost.
    McLaren are stepping into Formula E in time for the Gen3 eraCredit: Getty
    CEO Zak Brown will be hoping the FE team can deliver successCredit: Getty
    Gen3 is said to be the quickest electric racing car in the world, with a top speed of more than 200mph.
    Now, I’ve always been a supporter of FE since its debut in 2014. It is not F1, neither does it want to be F1. It is a world championship event in its own right.
    I can see the benefit of manufacturers competing in the environmentally-friendly series — and, subsequently, it has attracted big sponsors, too.
    Plus, I can also appreciate the excitement of pop-up events in city centres, where it is possible to watch qualifying, go for a pint in a pub and then return to watch the race.
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}CLOCKWORK ORANAGE .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}McLaren to join Formula E next season after buying out Mercedes
    But McLaren’s entry to FE has caused a stir in F1 circles, with some suggesting the team are spreading themselves too thinly.
    As well as F1 and FE, McLaren are also involved in the IndyCar series in the US and Extreme E — the electric off-road championship.
    Granted, that is a lot of championships at a considerable cost, especially when they are not yet regular-enough winners in F1 to start taking a breather.
    But I would argue that over the past four years, they are the most improved team, having gone through a complete restructuring — and that would imply they know what they are doing.
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    And therefore, it seems very sensible they would join FE, especially when you consider how they are doing it — by taking over current champions, Mercedes, who are leaving at the end of the season.
    Inheriting the team that heads the field would seem to be much smarter than starting from scratch, as others have.
    We do not know yet who will be driving but Ian James, current boss of the Mercedes-EQ FE team, will be staying — another wise move by McLaren.
    In taking a step into FE as a front-running outfit, McLaren will be hoping that translates to success on the track.
    But more importantly, perhaps, is the benefit that being in FE will bring to their road cars.
    McLaren want to use that FE knowledge for their supercar production line — which makes perfect sense.
    Others may turn their noses up and make jokes about McLaren sticking to racing petrol engines rather than milk floats.
    But I think the move is a good one because, like it or not, we are all going to be driving electric cars rather soon.

    IT’S MIAMI STRIFE, DIP
    THE messy fallout from the Miami Grand Prix goes on with more reports of disgruntled guests — this time Grammy-winning DJ Diplo has had his say.
    After being invited as a guest of Red Bull hospitality, he said: “I still don’t know anything about F1. It was this bad box, like a jail.
    DJ Diplo was unhappy with the hospitality at the Miami GPCredit: Getty
    “Also they had no food, and all I wanted was a sandwich, so I left.
    “When you watch it on TV, it’s so sick to watch the shot, but being there live, I couldn’t get any vibe.
    “It was sort of stressful. It was just a lot of walking around for no reason.”
    That said, armchair fans tuned in, with an average viewership of 2.6million making the Miami race the LARGEST audience for a live F1 broadcast on American television.

    THE BRIT AWARDS
    THERE was a victory for Team BRIT at Snetterton — with Chris Overend and James Whitley winning the second race on Sunday in the Britcar Trophy.
    If you are unfamiliar with the team, they are an all-disabled race team who have the goal of competing in the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race.
    Team BRIT drivers take on able-bodied racers on a level playing field.
    This is thanks to the world’s most advanced hand controls on the steering wheel — which enable disabled drivers to race competitively.

    HE’LL BE H-UG-E
    UGO UGOCHUKWU. Remember the name.
    The 15-year-old from New York was at Brands Hatch and won the British Formula 4 race on Sunday in tricky conditions.
    The American is part of the McLaren young driver programme and boss Zak Brown cheered him on.
    It was his maiden win after joining Carlin this season.
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    He is on the same career path as F1 star Lando Norris.
    And there is a feeling Ugochukwu also has the potential to reach the top. More

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    Lewis Hamilton ‘astonished’ after FIA president hints controversial race director Michael Masi could return to F1

    LEWIS HAMILTON was reportedly left “astonished” after it emerged controversial former race director Michael Masi could return to Formula One.Masi, 44, was at the centre of a storm following last season’s dramatic finale in Abu Dhabi which saw Max Verstappen pip Hamilton to the drivers’ championship.
    Hamilton lost the title last year following Masi’s controversial decisions in Abu DhabiCredit: Splash
    Masi could return to F1 in some capacity during the 2022 seasonCredit: Getty
    He was subsequently sacked from the role, but has remained on the FIA’s payroll.
    And last week FIA chief Mohammed ben Sulayem hinted the Australian could return to the sport in some capacity.
    He said: “I didn’t get rid of Michael. He had a personal overload (of work) – safety delegate as well as race director.
    “He made a mistake. It is not as if we said it is the end of Masi with the FIA.”
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Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}SNLEWIS .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Hamilton spotted at Selena Gomez’s party in NYC and ‘chats with Cara Delevingne’
    He then added: “I don’t know Michael very well. The decision (to sack him as race director) was made by the World Council. It was human error on Michael’s part.
    “I spoke to him two days ago. I have no personal issue (with him). I don’t hate anyone.
    “Michael is there and we might use him. I didn’t say we were getting rid of him.
    “I said we might use him. He may be in a good place to use. We are open to everything.
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    “Our race structure was wrong organisationally. And though we have brought in two new race directors, I wouldn’t say we have got it all right yet. We need to clean the stables.
    “This lack of people in the FIA needs to be addressed. I would like to see a minimum of three race directors, ideally by the beginning of next year.”
    And now The Mail are reporting that Hamilton and his advisors were left “astonished” by the news.

    The report also states that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was furious following Sulayem’s comments.
    Their anger last season stemmed from Masi’s decision to allow several cars to unlap themselves on the penultimate lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
    This put Verstappen – who was on fresh tyres – right behind Hamilton with just over one lap remaining.
    And the Dutchman passed the seven-time champion to take the win and the title.
    Despite the controversial comments about Masi potentially returning, it is believed that Ben Sulayem “does not want a fight” and is simply hoping to “restore the FIA to its rightful position”. More

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    Watch as Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc crashes legend Niki Lauda’s £1m 1974 Ferrari into wall in Monaco

    CHARLES LECLERC had a day to forget after crashing Nicki Lauda’s £1million 1974 Ferrari into the wall at Monaco.The current Ferrari star, 24, has had a wonderful year in Formula One this season and leads the world championship standings by 19 points.

    Charles Leclerc crashed legend Niki Lauda’s £1m 1974 Ferrari into wall in MonacoCredit: Twitter
    Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc crashes legend Niki Lauda’s £1m 1974 Ferrari into wall in MonacoCredit: Twitter
    But he had a nightmare around his home track in Monaco while demonstrating icon Lauda’s car.
    It appeared to be a smooth ride until brake failure caused Leclerc to lose control of his rear going into La Rascasse corner.
    The Frenchman spun out and the back of the Ferrari 312 B3 collided with the wall.
    Leclerc managed to get going again but damage to the rear wing caused it to rub along the wheel, leaving the driver mortified.
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    Leclerc tweeted after the crash: “When you thought you already had all the bad luck of the world in Monaco and you lose the brakes into rascasse with one of the most iconic historical Ferrari Formula 1 car.”
    Lauda finished fourth in the overall standings in 1974, winning the Grands Prix in Spain and the Netherlands.
    So not only does the car possess sentimental value – it even went on auction at a starting price of £1million in 2011.
    But it has been crashed before – in the same event last year when it was driven by Jean Alesi.
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Symonds, 46, tragically dies after car accident
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    Leclerc also had a torrid time during the Monaco Grand Prix last year, having looked set to start on pole
    Instead, a crash towards the end of his final run in Q3 caused damage to several parts of the car and ruled Leclerc out of the race.
    He has a chance to put that right at the end of May however, as F1 returns to the Monaco circuit after racing in Barcelona next weekend. More

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    Lewis Hamilton spotted at Selena Gomez’s SNL after party in NYC and ‘seen chatting with Cara Delevingne’ during F1 break

    LEWIS HAMILTON was seen at a Saturday Night Live after party in New York City chatting to Selena Gomez and Cara Delvingne.Actress Gomez, 29, hosted SNL last night and hit it off with the F1 star backstage after the show.
    Lewis Hamilton wore a denim outfit to the partyCredit: GC Images
    Selena Gomez hosted Saturday Night Live on May 14Credit: Getty
    The actress then hung out with Lewis Hamilton at the SNL afterpartyCredit: Getty
    Cara Delevingne was also believed to be at the SNL partyCredit: EPA
    Model turned actress Cara Develigne was also reportedly in attendance and chatting to Hamilton.
    Per his Instagram story, the Brit spent the day rock climbing before glamming up for the high profile party.
    Hamilton, 37, and Gomez have hung out before – at the 2017 InStyle Awards.
    But it seems the Mercedes driver is closer to Delevingne, having socialised with the 29-year-old at the 2021 Met Gala.
    Hamilton hung out with friends in New YorkCredit: Instagram @13thwitness
    Hamilton enjoyed his time in the Big Apple
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.nk-headline-heading{color:rgba(71,30,121,1);}.css-1uyse24:before{content:”;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;overflow:hidden;position:absolute;z-index:1;}.css-xpuujo{border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-tqcu81{padding:0;border-width:0 1px 1px 1px;border-style:solid;border-color:rgba(149,199,208,1);padding:12px;max-height:104px;min-height:98px;}.css-124tga5{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-5jzxpx{overflow:hidden;-webkit-line-clamp:3;-webkit-box-orient:vertical;display:-webkit-box;word-wrap:break-word;line-height:1;}.css-bq4915{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,97,108,1);text-transform:uppercase;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-bq4915:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}WINNING FORMULA .css-8h3gc3{margin:0;padding:0;color:rgba(34,37,38,1);-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;font-family:The Sun;font-size:18px;line-height:1.333;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:0%;font-stretch:normal;display:inline;}.css-8h3gc3:hover:not(:disabled){-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Hamilton’s homes include £32m New York penthouse and £18m London mansion
    Delevingne has also attended Grands Prix in the past and was pictured holding Hamilton’s grid board at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix.
    Fans of Gomez were excited to see the singer chatting to Hamilton.
    One Twitter user wrote: “Need them to date now.”
    Another added: “I’m just not ready to see the two loves of my life together.”
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Symonds, 46, tragically dies after car accident
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    And a third said: “This is such a random pair haha wow.”
    Hamilton has been taking in the sights in New York City after remaining in the US since last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.
    Next up for the seven-time world champion is a trip to Spain – the last race where he will be allowed to wear jewellery and piercings.
    Lewis Hamilton often hangs out with celebrities and has socialised with Gomez and Delevingne previouslyCredit: Getty More