Lewis Hamilton insists he does not have a celebration planned even if he is crowned king of the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
England’s run to the World Cup quarter-finals has taken centre stage in the sporting psyche, but a near sell-out crowd of 140,000 spectators are expected on race day with Hamilton standing on the brink of history.
Hamilton, 33, needs just one more win to become the first driver in Formula One history to claim a record fifth consecutive win at Silverstone, and a sixth in all in front of the British crowd.
Hamilton, who trails Sebastian Vettel by one championship point ahead of the Silverstone race, toasted his triumphs in 2016 and last year by crowd-surfing with the fans. Hamilton’s Mercedes team meanwhile, have not lost a race at the Northamptonshire track since 2012.
“Those celebrations are all kind of spur of the moment things,” Hamilton said. “So, for anybody to pre-plan something you are allowing, perhaps not karma, but negative things to potentially happen.
“It is like if England celebrating before they get through to the next round. It is probably not a good idea.
“Those past experiences were just incredible and I watched some of the footage recently. Engaging with the fans here is just electric.”
Hamilton had it all his own way in the opening practise session as he led Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes one-two, but Vettel’s pace later in the day suggested he could thwart the Briton’s hopes of a dream win.
Vettel set a best lap of one minute and 27.552 seconds to edge out Hamilton by 0.187 sec.
“It’s going to be very, very close this weekend because the Ferraris are really fast. We’re in for a serious fight.”