Hamilton hails Silverstone deal

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has reacted with delight to the news the British Grand Prix has been saved and will be staged at its traditional home at Silverstone for the next 17 years.

The deal between Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone was announced today and brings an end to months of wrangling over the future of the event.



Silverstone, which hosted the first ever F1 race in 1950 and has been a permanent feature on the calendar since 1987, got the nod after a mooted switch to Donington Park fell through after bosses at the Leicestershire circuit failed to meet its obligations.



With Hamilton set to be joined by reigning world champion and compatriot Jenson Button at McLaren next season, British interest in the sport has never been higher, and the 24-year-old is thrilled by the prospect of returning to the scene of one of his greatest ever performances.



Hamilton obliterated the field in soaking conditions at Silverstone in his 2008 championship-winning year, winning by over a minute, and is now eyeing yet more glory at the famous old track.



"Firstly, it's fantastic news the British Grand Prix will stay on the calendar for 2010," Hamilton said.



"Secondly, it's great the race will be at Silverstone.



"The place has an atmosphere money can't buy and I have some fantastic memories of the track, winning both races in GP2 in 2006, getting an incredibly emotional and satisfying pole in 07 and winning in the wet in my championship year.



"Most importantly, those achievements have all been underlined by the reaction and support of the Silverstone crowd, which has always been fantastic.



"British fans are the greatest Formula One supporters in the world and this must be the best Christmas present they could ever ask for.



"I can't wait to come home to the British Grand Prix next year when both Jenson and I will be flying the flag for Britain and doing our best to win the race."



McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: "From the perspective of McLaren, we are now tremendously looking forward to the race.



"With Jenson and Lewis, our two British world champions, we will travel to Silverstone knowing the focus will be on us to perform."



BRDC member Martin Brundle, a former grand prix driver and now an esteemed BBC commentator, also welcomed confirmation of the deal.



"It's brilliant news, isn't it?" said Brundle, who finished third in the 1992 British Grand Prix at Silverstone while driving for Benetton.



"I'm sure it was tough to get the numbers workable, and all of the other criteria.



"I kind of assumed it would happen in the end because everybody wants the same thing.



"It's important for British motorsport, it's important for Formula One.



"Of course, we want the new circuits around the globe that are different, and certainly from a media point of view when we head off somewhere new, it's a new story, a different style of grand prix.



"But they have to be balanced out with the history and heritage of places like Silverstone.



"The drivers love the circuit, the fans support the circuit, they support all the drivers, it's not just a partisan thing of waving the Union Jack.



"But we know have to look to the British public to rush in and buy some tickets, and hopefully they will, even though it's so late in the day."



Commentating legend Murray Walker, another BRDC member, was similarly enthused by the news, saying: "I'm aware of the fact the people at Silverstone have sweated blood to make this deal happen.



"It would have been a travesty of justice if it hadn't happened.



"Now thousands and thousands of people are going to be overjoyed, and behalf of all of them I'd like to say thank you very much to those people at Silverstone, and very well done."



Reflecting on the new deal, Ecclestone said: "I am pleased to have reached an agreement with Silverstone for the retention of the British Grand Prix.



"This will ensure Great Britain will remain on the Formula One calendar for many years to come which is something I have personally always wanted to see happen.



"The team at Silverstone already know how to organise a good event, and now everyone can look forward to next summer at Silverstone."



Voices
voices
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried