KUALA LUMPUR: Newly crowned Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton received a hero's welcome at KLCC today in what has become an annual 'homecoming' for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team.
As Hamilton clinched his fourth world title this season, he and teammate Valtteri Bottas earned Mercedes their F1 fourth constructors title in a row.
Hundreds of Hamilton's fans lined up from as early as 10am at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas to catch a glimpse of the Briton at the meet-the-fans session at 1pm.
The crowd burst into chants of "Lewis, Lewis, Lewis, Lewis..." when Hamilton appeared.
A visibly moved Hamilton said: ”Thank you so much for coming out, I really did not expect to see so many people here," said the 32-year-old.
"It has been a great year and we really could not have done it without your support."
Among the fans present was Sudharshn Maikel, 24, who was delighted to see his hero bringing home the title once again.
“I have been a fan of Lewis since 2008 and we have always admired his determination. He started out with nothing and has achieved so much," said Sudharshn.
"I was really happy when Lewis joined Mercedes AMG Petronas, it is always a proud moment for the country when he wins."
Another fan, Fatin Nabila Abd Aziz, 24, however, said it was a bittersweet moment.
"It is always great to see Lewis winning for Mercedes, Petronas and Malaysia," said Fatin.
"But it is a bit sad that we will not be able to see him race at Sepang anymore. I really hope they will bring back the Malaysian Grand Prix".