Formula One star Lewis Hamilton pays touching tribute to late Finnish mentor

Three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has dedicated the deciding race of this year’s season to his friend and mentor, the late Finnish sports trauma physician and orthopedist, Dr. Aki Hintsa.

Dr. Aki Hintsa (left) with Lewis Hamilton. Image: AOP

Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton has had the name of the late Finnish sports physician Dr. Aki Hintsa printed on his competition helmet as he heads into the season’s final confrontation with tournament leader Nico Rosberg.

"Dr. Aki Hintsa 1958 - 2016," the inscription reads. Hamilton posted a picture of the helmet to microblogging site Twitter with the simple message, "For Aki."

Hintsa passed away on November 15 at the age of 58 after losing his battle with cancer. He was the former team doctor for McLaren, the stable which first signed a young Hamilton back in 2007. The two later became close friends.

Now 31, Hamilton reportedly flew to Switzerland after winning his previous race in Brazil to spend time with Hintsa, and was with him on the day that he died.

Hamilton’s stable mate for the Mercedes team, Rosberg has a virtually unassailable 12-point lead heading into the final contest in Abu Dhabi this week – and looks set to take home his maiden title.

However Hamilton vowed to redouble his efforts in Hintsa’s memory during the defining race.