Hamilton wants to give Britain a lift

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton is determined to make the country proud this weekend as he chases British Grand Prix glory.

Hamilton is eager to strengthen the narrow lead he holds over team-mate Jenson Button at the top of the championship standings, with the McLaren duo separated by just six points.

The British boys know they will have the full support of a 120,000-strong Silverstone crowd, and are ready to repay those fans.

Hamilton said: "I think it's going to be an interesting weekend.

"It's an exciting one for me and Jenson because we know we have so much support here, not only here at the circuit, but also watching throughout the country, and we just want to make the country proud.

"I think it's going to be one of the most exciting British Grands Prix for quite some time, at least I hope so, and I hope Jenson and I are at the forefront of that.

"I know the fans would love a one-two, so we will do our best this weekend because it's they who make it, and we want to give as much back as we can."

Hamilton and the rest of the F1 field will sample the reconfigured Northamptonshire track for the first time this weekend following a £5million revamp.

After simulator tests and track walks, for the moment the drivers are split on whether the new Arena section will aid overtaking.

Hamilton, though, is simply glad to be back racing at Silverstone after fears this time last year it had staged its last race given Donington Park was poised to play host.

"We see this as the home of Formula One, of motor sport because Great Britain has done so much for the sport and we have so many committed fans," added Hamilton.

"It wouldn't be Formula One if we didn't have a grand prix here, so I'm glad we do have it, happy too because the support we get here is unlike anywhere else.

"This is a place where all my fellow countryman are in the stands, and the support we have is unbelievable.

"So I really hope we can put on a good show for them because they are really behind us, no matter what."

As in Monaco, Hamilton will again be sporting a new helmet design, this time in honour of his roots given his Grenadan background.

"I want to do something special every year at my two favourite grands prix which are Silverstone and Monaco," said Hamilton.

"I did something a little bit different for Monaco, and last year here I had a slightly different helmet with the British flag on it.

"This year I have all my family coming, who are from Grenada, so I wanted to make sure I represented both countries so I have got the Grenadan flag and British flag on top of the helmet, with stars down the side.

"I thought it would be quite cool as my family roots are from the West Indies. I thought it would be quite unique to do it.

"In the future these helmets will hopefully be quite valuable and who knows, maybe I will put them up for charity, raise some money that way."