The Senna family awarded Hamilton one of Senna’s race-worn helmets from 1987, Senna’s last season with Lotus before switching to McLaren in 1988, at the top three on-track interview at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. This particular version awarded today is a replica with a real one set to be delivered later this year, per NBCSN’s Will Buxton.
It’s a remarkable gesture and one that nearly brought Hamilton to tears in the moment, justifiably. Both drivers have three Formula 1 World Championships and are now equal on second place of poles, as Hamilton now sits just three behind all-time leader Michael Schumacher on 68.
“I’m shaken. I’m speechless,” Hamilton told NBCSN’s Will Buxton after having a moment to collect his thoughts.
“Ayrton, I know for many of you, he was your favorite driver, and for me is the same. He was the one who inspired me to be where I am today.
“To match him and receive this is the greatest honor. I have to say a big, big thank you so much to the Senna family. And thank you to everyone here. Bless you all.”
Hamilton’s pole is his sixth in Canada, a record there, and he’ll look for his sixth Canadian Grand Prix victory on Sunday (2 p.m. ET, NBC).
Lewis Hamilton is given one of Ayrton Senna's race-worn helmets
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.