No time to compose herself.
Click here for the actual article. Lim Han Ming Mon, Oct 13, 2008The New Paper She used to get fed up when I watched F1 IT WAS 11.45pm. Lewis Hamilton was on a long-distance call with his mother Carmen when Dave Rajinder Khaira and his girlfriend, Wee Wei Ling, approached the McLaren star for an autograph at the Marina Bay street circuit.
Hamilton did not wave them away. Instead, he obligingly signed an autograph for them. The 23-year-old Briton even asked the couple if they would like a picture with him. Khaira told The New Paper: 'Who says Hamilton is snobbish, arrogant and rude?
'I think we were the rude ones interrupting his telephone conversation with his mum. 'I think people have the wrong impression of him. If you ask me, I think he's very humble.' Khaira's chance meeting with Hamilton happened on Thursday in the week of the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix two weeks ago.
The 35-year-old engineer had bought two walkabout tickets for the practice session on Friday. Thinking that they may not get a good view of the entire track, the couple decided to take a walk around the circuit on Thursday night. Never did Khaira expect to bump into his favourite driver. He said: 'I don't know how we ended up on the track and bumped into Hamilton. 'He was inspecting the track with a bunch of engineers. We also saw Fernando Alonso cycling and Mark Webber running.
'Hamilton is my favourite driver, so we decided to walk beside him. On his way back to the hotel, we decided to try our luck and ask him for an autograph. 'At that time, he was on the phone with his mum. I overheard him telling his mum, 'Sorry mum, I have got a lot of supporters here in Singapore'. 'Then I told him that he has more supporters than he knows. 'I was so excited that I forgot to take a photo with him myself!'
Thanks to Hamilton, Khaira's girlfriend, who works in the sales industry, is now a F1 convert. Khaira said: 'She wasn't much of a follower of F1 until the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. 'She used to get fed up when I stayed at home to watch F1 on television every fortnight. Convert 'But after Hamilton put his arm around her shoulders for the photo they took together, she is a convert now.'
Overall, Khaira felt that the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix was a resounding success. He said: 'I didn't mind watching the race on television as I can see more things and listen to the 'live' commentary.
'I have to say that Alonso is a deserving winner. 'He was extremely fast during qualifying, but unfortunately the engine died on him. 'As for Hamilton, he knew what he had to do on race day. He did not have to chase Nico Rosberg because he knew he had the points in the bag.'
Khaira may not have watched the race 'live' at the Marina Bay circuit, but no matter. For he will always remember his first up-close-and-personal experience with Hamilton. He said: 'We bought the cheapest tickets, and got the best gift out of it.
'Meeting Hamilton was a real big bonus.'
This article was first published in The New Paper on Oct 6, 2008.