Thursday March 21, 2013
F1: Hamilton taken by first ‘real’ glimpse of Kuala Lumpur
By AUDREY EDWARDS and YVONNE LIM
KUALA LUMPUR: He has raced at breakneck speeds around the Sepang International Circuit for years but this is the first year that Lewis Hamilton has had the chance to catch a “real” glimpse of the city.
“This is my first real' visit to the city and to be staying in the city. And I am massively excited,” said the 28-year-old British driver, who joined the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team this year, when he spoke to reporters in town yesterday.
“The Petronas towers is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen.”
The former Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver and his teammate Nico Rosberg had public appearances at various places, including the National Heart Institute (IJN) and twin petrol stations, Solaris Putra and Solaris Serdang, on Tuesday and a meet-the-fans session yesterday.
The drivers will line up on the grid this Sunday for the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix.
F1 fans queued for hours to meet them at the concourse area in Suria KLCC.
Afif Husnul, 36, started queuing at 9am, eight hours before the drivers arrived, with his wife Endang Haherawati and their son Bayu Husnul, just to get their autographs.
“This will be our fifth year of watching F1 live,” said Afif.
Meanwhile, at IJN, Ong Cen Cee excitedly waved a bottle of mineral water and an autographed cap from Hamilton and Rosberg.
“Lewis drank from this bottle, and they both signed their names on my cap.
“Lewis also asked me to explain how this machine works,” said the 14-year-old, pointing to the battery pack he carries around, which is linked to a ventricular assist device (VAD) that has been implanted in his heart.
The teenager was among 50 other children who got to meet the drivers.
Cen Cee, a Form Two student at Chung Hwa High School in Muar, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy last year and has a “weak heart”. He needs a heart transplant and the VAD device helps his heart pump blood to the rest of his body.