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Hamilton sure to sparkle in Monaco
Tom Pilcher | May 16, 2008 10:49 IST
A week after making a leaden stage appearance as a Greek god, Lewis Hamilton [Images] cradled a diamond-studded helmet on Thursday and recast himself as Formula One's 'King of Bling'.
"Bling bling, I love it," declared the 23-year-old McLaren driver after showing off the sparkling helmets that he and Finnish team mate Heikki Kovalainen will wear at next week's Monaco Grand Prix.
"Diamonds are a beautiful thing," added the Briton. "I'm always racing but sometimes you get some of the nice quirks and bonuses and I guess this is it."
The presentation certainly put more of a smile on his face than the sponsor appearance in Turkey last week, where he had to descend uncomfortably from the sky in his race overalls in the role of Apollo.
The helmets, each with the drivers' signature traced out with hundreds of gems, are the creation of diamond company and McLaren sponsor Steinmetz.
The drivers will also receive diamond rings, in Hamilton's case for the second year in a row after he was given one worth $10,000 (5,137 pounds) and modelled on a tyre before his Monaco debut last year.
The Briton came second to then-team mate Fernando Alonso [Images], the double world champion who has since returned to Renault, in a race that blew the lid off their simmering on-track rivalry.
Hamilton, who finished a fighting second to Ferrari's [Images] Felipe Massa [Images] in Turkey last weekend, will be a favourite to go one better this year and get the Monaco win that he felt he was denied in 2007.
Ferrari have won the last four races but Monaco is very much McLaren territory and Hamilton said he could not wait for what he called the "most exciting race of the year".
"It's the race to win, and for sure this year I want to make that step up," he said.
Team boss Ron Dennis said there would be no favouritism, however.
"The reality is we pride ourselves on providing quality to both drivers," he told Reuters.
(Editing by Alan Baldwin and Pritha Sarkar)
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