Lewis Hamilton and Rihanna first bonded as far back as 2011! So long Kendall Jenner…  

Whispers on the showbiz grapevine reveal Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton has been secretly dating Rihanna, after splitting from long-term on/off fiancée Nicole Scherzinger, not to mention a recent fling with the supermodel arm of the Kardashian crew, Kendall Jenner.

Lewis, 30, and Rihanna, 27, were spotted enjoying dinner at New York restaurant Da Silvano on Saturday 18 July and then continued their night at 1 OAK club, before taking it back to Rihanna’s penthouse, where the pair partied until the early hours.

According to The Sun on Sunday, the pair have been flirting since May this year but hadn’t been able to get together properly because of their hectic schedules.

‘They are both really busy, but Rihanna has asked him to come to Rock in Rio in September so he can see her perform and spend time together,’ revealed a source close to Rihanna.

And Lewis seems equally smitten, with a friend telling the paper: ‘He is a bit infatuated with her and thinks she is not only sexy but incredibly funny, although he knows she has a reputation as a heartbreaker.’

But it seems that the first seeds of friendship were sown years ago. As these pictures show, Rihanna was caught on camera giving a consoling hug to Lewis back in 2011 when he crashed out of the Montreal Grand Prix after colliding with his McLaren teammate Jenson Button. Rihanna dropped in for a chat with Lewis and he showed her his F1 racing car.

Then, in 2013, Rihanna and Lewis partied together in a Monaco casino when Lewis was on a break from Nicole – although the reports were said to have caused the X factor judge to get upset.

It probably didn’t help matters when Lewis and Rihanna were pictured together again in December last year at the British Fashion Awards.

They met again at the Met Gala ball earlier this year, just after Lewis split from Nicole. According to fellow guests, Lewis was sat at Rihanna’s table at the after party, which was where things were said to have gone from friends to flirty faster than a Lewis lap time.

The news will no doubt upset Kendall who was rumoured to have been dating Lewis. He even flew Kendall and the rest of the Kardashian Klan over for Glastonbury on his personal jet. Because yes, Lewis has one of those.

We would love to see a Rihanna/Kardashian scrap. Our money is on Rihanna.