Lewis Hamilton feels England deserve to win the World Cup again, as he talks to the media ahead of the French GP.
Lewis Hamilton has joined the hordes of England fans dreaming of World Cup glory for the Three Lions this summer – even if England’s campaign is likely to disrupt his preparations for Sunday’s French GP.
The race, exclusively live on Sky Sports F1, has been moved back to a start time of 3.10pm in order not to clash with the England v Panama group match earlier on Sunday afternoon.
But Hamilton knows he won’t be able to avoid the match as he and his Mercedes team prepare for the race at the Paul Ricard circuit.
“It’s going to be a little harder to focus on the race because we will be watching,” said Hamilton. “The game will be on in TV here and l am sure my guys will try to keep an eye on both things at the same time – as will l.
“Naturally, every time this championship comes around you hope for something special to happen for England. In my lifetime it’s not been great for us. But we have a good team and England deserve at some time to win the World Cup [again].
“And it’s exciting to watch. Every time l was driving around at home last week the games were on everywhere. “
Hamilton is the only British driver on the F1 grid and said he hasn’t lost sight of the honour his position in the sport affords.
“Winning the World Cup is a dream for every kid and I am privileged that l am here in F1,” the Mercedes driver added.
“I am very proud to be a Brit. As soon as l won the world championship last year, l grabbed the flag.
“To be able to represent your country, and be at the top of the sport, like we are hoping the England team will be, is an honour and a privilege – and l am grateful for that.”
The French GP: Why the 3.10pm race start time?
In previous years, a 1pm race start for European-based events had become a staple for UK-based Formula 1 fans.
But this year’s calendar has changed all that.
For starters, in the biggest shake-up to the race schedule in years, F1 has shifted the start times across every European race back by an hour in order to maximise television audiences.
A further 10-minute delay was then introduced for the race start time to allow television broadcasters to fully integrate the build-up to a grand prix in their schedules.
Hence the 2.10pm start time experienced by UK-based F1 fans for the recent Spanish and Monaco GPs.
But for France there was a further shift, with the race moved back a further hour ‘in order to avoid clashes with other major sports events like the FIFA World Cup’ – and specifically England’s World Cup group match with Panama.
The upshot on Sunday is that any sports fans wishing to watch both events live will be able to do so, with the England-Panama tie scheduled to finish at around 2.45pm, approximately 25 minutes before the start of the French GP at 3.10pm.
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