Lewis Hamilton is missing Nicole… but she's a different Pussycat Doll to the one you're thinking of

Lewis Hamilton wrote a nostalgic message about his "favourite" Nicole on Tuesday, describing her as "the sweetest girl". However fans were disappointed to discover that the Formula One champion was talking about a tiger cub called Nicole, and not his famous ex-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.

Sharing a close-up photo of himself lying alongside the cub, Lewis wrote: "I miss my favourite tiger Nicole. She's recovering well. As you can see, we're pretty close. She's the sweetest girl plus if you mess with me, she'll bite your ass or eat you :) Now that's a friend."

Lewis Hamilton revealed he was "missing Nicole" on Instagram on Tuesday

The photo was taken during a recent visit to the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation in Mexico, a rescue organisation that has other high profile supporters in Lewis' friends Kendall Jenner and Khloé Kardashian.

The 31-year-old was clearly won over by the big cats, as he posted another video of himself struggling to hold a playful tiger in his arms.

"Getting big & heavy, miss you guys," Lewis wrote.

Many fans hoped that Lewis was referring to his ex-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger

It is thought Lewis paid a visit to the foundation during his recent holiday to Mexico, where he also celebrated his 31st birthday with friends. While many fans commented simply to say how amazing the photo was, others made references to Lewis' ex-girlfriend, former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.

"You are still talking about the Tiger I take it Lew…" one Instagram user commented. Another added: "You still love her huh."

Lewis has previously said he is "enjoying single life" following his split from his girlfriend of seven years in February 2015. However Nicole has recently confirmed her romance with tennis ace Grigor Dimitrov as she travelled to Australia to support him at the Brisbane International tournament at the beginning of January.

The pair have reportedly been secretly dating for months, but are trying to keep their relationship out of the spotlight as much as possible.

"They're completely besotted with each other," a source told The Sun in November. "But they've been careful not to be pictured together because they don't want the pressure of the relationship being in the public eye."

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