Hamilton: Lap of Imola 'harsh reminder' of Senna

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Lewis Hamilton says his discovery lap of Imola on Friday offered him a "harsh reminder" of the death of his personal hero Ayrton Senna.

Hamilton typically doesn't conduct a track walk ahead of a race weekend, but the Mercedes driver ventured out on his scooter on Friday afternoon to explore the historic venue where tragedy befell the Formula 1 community and fans all over the world over 16 years ago.

"Obviously, the history of 1994 is something we always remember," said Hamilton.

"I went ’round today and it was a really special lap, just going round and seeing this historic track, passing the harsh reminder of where Ayrton crashed."

But the emotional run around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari also instilled a "heart-warming" sense of privilege and belonging for Hamilton.

"It is very surreal still for me when I go to places where you drive through the tunnel in Monaco, you drive through the British Grand Prix where you know that the greats in the past had raced at those places.

"Earlier on I was in an area that many years, 26 years ago, Ayrton was here doing what he loved as I am.

"So that’s in one way, that’s heart-warming to know that I was able to be here and do what he was doing 26 years ago. But otherwise it’s just another race."

Friday's leisurely stroll around Imola also reminded the six-time world champion of his early days in the sport, and his first visits to Italy.

"What I was really impressed with was just the surroundings, the trees. It’s a beautiful part of the country," he said.

"It really took me back to when you first go to a country – when I first came to Italy when I raced it was so much different to the UK scenery-wise. I remember that feeling the first time and I felt that and I’ve not felt that in a long, long time.

"Today, going around the track, it really was reminiscent of my first days and my time when I was karting here so it just reminded me of the love that I have for Italy."

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