Hamilton's 'Senna' helmet fuels controversy

© XPB 

In a moving gesture yesterday after qualifying destined to commemorate Lewis Hamilton equaling Ayrton Senna's 65 poles, the Mercedes driver was given a helmet belonging to the legendary driver's family.

NBC Sports' presentator Will Buxton labeled the artifact an original race-worn helmet, much to Hamilton's amazement.

To be honest we were a bit shocked by Buxton's claim as the nerds we are had immediately identified the helmet as a 1994 Bell rather than the Camel-liveried 1987 Bell XFM1 model it was purported to be.

We posted this on Twitter, insisting however that the erroneous historical claim took nothing away from the emotional moment.

This unleashed a barrage of comments from those who, like us, noted the mistake and others, devoted Senna fans, who were enraged that we would question the memorabilia's authenticity.

Eventually, facts took precedence over glamour and the Senna family itself moved to clarify the confusion.

The Senna family said that Hamilton had been given a replica in Montreal, but that an original, race-worn helmet dating back to the 1987 season will effectively be gifted to the three-time world champion at a later date.

"We've known for many years that Lewis is a big fan of my uncle's - he's actually an official Ayrton Senna Institute ambassador, supporting our actions that promote a better education for Brazilian children," said Senna's niece, Bianca Senna.

"Just like Ayrton, he always share his accomplishments with his fans.

"Our family is very happy with his achievements and I'm sure Ayrton would be in Montreal to deliver this special gift, absolutely happy in seeing his record being equalled by a driver as talented as Lewis is."

Mercedes posted the video below to Twitter, with Hamilton commenting on his memorable achievement and the precious gift that went with it.


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Gallery: All the pictures from Montreal

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