Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton's message of thanks to fans braving 'snakepit of hate' at Monza

Hamilton's every move at Monza this week has been loudly jeered by the Italian supporters who have little goodwill towards the defending world champion.

The Ferrari-mad race fans at Monza have even taken to mocking up pictures portraying the Mercedes ace as a crying baby to get their message across.

Their efforts have clearly got through to the 33-year-old, who decided to send out a message to those Hamilton fans who have made the trek to Italy as he left for the circuit this morning.

He wrote: "Once again #teamlh. we are in the snake pit.

"I acknowledge and thank you for standing in these crowds full of so much hate and negativity and for your bravery to stand tall and bright.

"I see you out there!!! So proud of you and grateful for your strength. It's your strength that drives me.

"Love you #teamlh."

Hamilton currently leads the race to be crowned world champion this season by 17 points ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

But he knows he faces a difficult job to get victory today after he was denied pole position by a Ferrari shut-out in qualifying.

The Mercedes driver has to settle for starting third on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen on pole and Vettel second.

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