Hamilton buys console to play retro Senna game in Montreal

Jon Wilde
Lewis Hamilton at Canadian GP press conference. Montreal June 2022.

Lewis Hamilton talking at Canadian Grand Prix press conference. Montreal June 2022.

Lewis Hamilton has revealed how he is spending his downtime in Montreal – playing a 30-year-old Ayrton Senna racing game.

The seven-time former World Champion arrived for the Canadian Grand Prix clearly with an itch to scratch regarding his favourite retro games.

So much so that the Mercedes driver went to a shop in the Quebec province city and came away having bought a Sega Genesis console and a copy of Ayrton Senna’s Super Monaco GP II, which was released in 1992 when Hamilton was only seven years old.

The Briton was asked about the pastime during a press conference before free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, having posted a photo on Instagram of himself playing the game.

His post read: “I landed in Montreal and went straight to a retro game shop. Got myself a Sega Genesis and of course, Ayrton Senna’s Super Monaco GP II. I loved this game as a kid and still do now. Still holds up! Naturally I got super-competitive with myself. My personal best right now is a 49-second lap, pretty sure I can beat that tho. That was only after a few tries. I’ll let you all know when I beat it.”

Explaining further in the press conference, Hamilton told reporters: “I just had this itch to play old games!

“I’ve just recently bought an old Nintendo 64…actually, no, I didn’t buy it, I found it in my storage and then I went and got GoldenEye.

“Then when I landed, I went to get Mario Kart but they didn’t have the Nintendo 64 so I bought a Sega Genesis.

“And then they had the Senna game there, so I was like ‘oh, that’s perfect’. So I’ve been spending the last couple of nights driving the Senna game. But I’m not that quick on it.”

Hamilton then shared a joke with his 2021 World Championship rival Max Verstappen, who was sitting alongside him at a press conference for the first time this year.

The Dutchman asked whether Hamilton had suffered any porpoising problems in the game, referring to the issue Mercedes have been affected by with their W13 car this season.

“No…no porpoising,” said Hamilton, laughing, also saying how much he was enjoying being back in Canada to race for the first time since 2019 – it was the scene of his first F1 victory in 2007 for McLaren.

“It’s very special coming back to Montreal,” said Hamilton. “It’s great to see the people, the city, great to see the energy throughout the city as you’re going through.

“I remember my first time here and my first grand prix win here, my first pole in 2007, so it’s always special when I come back here.

“My dad called me and we reminisce about these sorts of things. So it’s great to be back.”