Lewis Hamilton says he will go to Russia for World Cup final if England are in it
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 10/12/18 12:00pm
Lewis Hamilton says he will take time off from his busy Formula 1 schedule to travel to Russia and cheer on England if they make it to the World Cup final.
Four-time F1 world champion Hamilton has been a keen spectator of the national side's impressive run in the tournament, with Gareth Southgate's side taking on Sweden in a much-anticipated quarter-final on Saturday - immediately after qualifying for the British GP.
Hamilton claims, should England progress to their first final since their winning campaign in 1966, he will be out in Russia as a fan.
"The passion is crazy for everyone that's watching their country play," Hamilton told Sky Sports News' Craig Slater as he prepared for the Silverstone weekend. "It's like it's in your DNA - it's crazy, and it's so exciting.
"[The final] is next Sunday and I've booked that day off, kept it free, because I want to be in Russia that day supporting them!"
He added on The F1 Show on Sky F1: "I've booked my ticket - I'm ready to go!"
The World Cup final takes place on Sunday, July 15, on F1's weekend off in a stretch of five races in six weeks.
"I can only imagine the boys are definitely on a high at the moment," Hamilton continued. "I hope they're sleeping well, I hope they're eating well because that's a large part of it, and ultimately just going out and enjoying themselves.
"There's so much pressure on them, obviously with it being the World Cup, but there's so much support for them. England have such excited fans, there's so much passion in England for sport."
Hamilton is on the brink of setting two driver records at the British GP - aiming for an incredible fifth Silverstone victory in a row and a sixth in total.
The 33-year-old, one point behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the standings, added: "The British GP is the most special for me of all the races we get to do.
"It is a real privilege. The fans here are just incredible. The weather is the best it has ever been. We are fighting for the World Cup. I think it is just a really great time for sport."
What does England quarter-final mean for qualy?
Silverstone organisers have pledged to screen the quarter-final at the track for spectators.
And Hamilton isn't the only driver on the F1 grid who will have a major interest in the game, with Sauber's Marcus Ericsson ready to cheer on his country.
"We went into the tournament with very low expectations because we don't have many big stars in our team and we have quite a low-profile team," the Swede told SSN. "They've done extremely well and for Sweden, it's quite a small country, so we didn't expect that.
"I think what has happened is our team has come together more, they're all hard workers. and for the team it's really been working out to not have Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] in the team. Also our new coach Janne Andersson has done a great job to get the whole group together.
"I will be cheering in Sweden [on Saturday], I'm proud to be cheering for Sweden. It will be a great game. Usually us against England are good games, and we're usually strong against England as well."