Rihanna is reportedly playing it cool with Lewis Hamilton, but is starting to like him a lot.

The 27-year-old singer is rumoured to be getting close to the Formula One ace, with the pair even attending the annual carnival in her native Barbados together recently.

Although things aren't thought to be serious at the moment, apparently Rihanna likes Lewis more than she thought she would.

"Ri and Lewis have known each other casually for years, but they've never both been single at the same time," an insider told British magazine Heat. "She's playing it cool, but I think he's winning her over. Lewis is being really good with her brother Rajad and that's the kind of thing Rihanna really likes."

One of Rihanna's friends questioned the budding romance to the publication though, insisting it won't last, as the pair don't have a lot in common.

It seems not everyone agrees with that assertion. Sharon Bellamy Thompson looked after Rihanna when she was little, babysitting for her and taking her to and from school. She sees herself as something of a second mother to the star, and insists Lewis is a great choice for the star.

"They would have beautiful babies. As long as this man makes her happy, he's got my approval. You've got to love his British charm," she said.

"When the time's right Robyn will make a great mum - she loves kids."

That said, Sharon still harbours hope that Rihanna will rekindle her relationship with one of her exes - Chris Brown. That will come as something of a surprise, as their romance broke down in 2010 after Chris assaulted Rihanna, with the pair engaging in an on/off relationship for a few years afterwards but never managing to get things back on track.

"Chris was the first boyfriend she brought home and I'll always have a soft spot for him. Nobody can replace first love," she said.