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Lewis Hamilton urges president-elect Trump to prove the world wrong

The Guardian The Guardian 11/11/2016 Paul Weaver in São Paulo
Lewis Hamilton in the paddock before Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. © Getty Images Lewis Hamilton in the paddock before Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Formula One paddock, normally quarantined off from the rest of the world, responded here on Thursday to the election of Donald Trump, with Lewis Hamilton urging the future president of the US to prove the world wrong.

“It was a surprise,” said the world champion, who added: “I watched the live feed from the plane. To be honest, I don’t think either candidate was particularly mega but maybe he will prove us all wrong. I hope he does. I hope he proves the world wrong and we get to see a different side to him.”

However, Sergio Pérez appears less happy with the outcome of the vote in the US – the Force India driver has dropped one of his sponsors because they published a tweet making fun of Mexicans following Trump’s election victory. The sunglasses company Hawkers referenced one of Trump’s campaign pledges in a tweet, stating: “Mexicans, put on these glasses so they can’t see your crying eyes tomorrow when building the wall.”

The tweet was quickly taken down and Hawkers insisted it was meant as a joke – but Pérez certainly was not laughing when he said: “When I read the comment I didn’t find it funny at all. I have decided to split with the brand because I am not in favour at all of the comment.

“They are very sorry and I am very sorry, too. I know the owners and they have done incredibly well and the relationship was going to be very successful. But my country and people come first and I want to support them and won’t let anyone make fun of my country.”

Hamilton urges president-elect Trump to prove the world wrong © Getty Images Hamilton urges president-elect Trump to prove the world wrong Eventually, the drivers got round to talking about Formula One. Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix is the penultimate race of the season and Nico Rosberg has a 19-point lead over his Mercedes team-mate Hamilton. Victory for Rosberg this weekend would secure his first title and he has won here on the past two occasions; Hamilton has yet to win at Interlagos.

Rosberg said: “I love the track. It’s a great track, it feels good and I’ve always gone well here, so I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’ve got great memories from those two wins. They were very special but at the same time, this year we all start from zero. Those past wins are not going to help me win here. It’s awesome to be fighting for the world championship with two races to go, so I am excited about the weekend and I am going to try and go for the win.”

Rosberg needs only a second and a third place from the final two rounds to win, assuming the British driver wins both races. That makes the German the clear favourite but the prospect of rain over the weekend could complicate his plans.

Hamilton said: “I don’t really know why I’ve not won here, so I don’t really have an answer for you. I try every year and I’ll try harder this year.”

Meanwhile, Jolyon Palmer looked a relieved figure in the paddock on Thursday after securing a second season with Renault. The British driver, who appeared to be on borrowed time until his form turned round recently, said: “There were times when it was not looking good. Monaco was not a good weekend, crashing out right at the start, but it was race six of a 21-race season.

“Since then I have turned a page and if you look at my season that was clearly a moment where I put it behind me. The rest of the season has been much stronger.”

Palmer, 25, will team up with the new signing Nico Hülkenberg, with Kevin Magnussen set to join Haas. Palmer was told he would be given a new deal while on holiday in Florida following the recent Mexican Grand Prix. He added: “The deciding factor has been my rate of progress, recent form, and working hard with the team and putting in a lot of hours at the factory.”

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