New five-year British Grand Prix deal confirmed

Ross Houston
July 12, 2019

Lewis Hamilton has criticised the decision to stage the British Grand Prix at the same time as the Cricket World Cup and the Wimbledon men's finals, arguing that the Silverstone spectacle needed its own space on the calendar to breathe.

Hamilton, 31 points clear of Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, has won four of the last five races at Silverstone - losing out a year ago to Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after starting on pole position. "I really don't understand it", Hamilton told a news conference.

Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, and F1's owners, Liberty Media, signed a new five-year deal on Wednesday for the circuit to continue hosting the race. "We all try to do the country proud and I am just going to try to do my bit".

'We don't approach weekends with a negative, ' said Hamilton.

"Silverstone is one of the most iconic Grands Prix on the F1 calendar and with such a rich heritage it would have been disastrous for the sport and fans had we not managed to find a way forward", chairman of BRDC John Grant said. I think people will be switching between channels on Sunday not sure what to watch. Ferrari were quick here a year ago.

But the Mercedes star wants the eyes of the world to be on Silverstone, demanding it as a standalone fixture of the British sporting summer. "This is thanks to our track being one of the greatest drivers' circuits in the world but also the enormous passion for motor racing that exists in the loyal and knowledgeable fans that we have in this country".

Bottas looked the more comfortable of the two Mercedes drivers, setting the pace in the first part of the session on the medium tyres by just under 0.3secs from Hamilton before improving on the softs.

The Frenchman, who had persuaded Haas to let him try the vehicle in its specification from the first race of the season in a bid to understand their struggles, lost control leaving the pits for the first time because he had too much throttle on when he released the pit lane speed limit. Now eight or seven years later, it is the same in Formula One and both of us driving for two top teams, so it is great to see that. It's a special weekend, there's excitement, adrenaline. My whole family is coming this weekend so it's that one weekend where it's the most special because your closest support surrounds you.

Hamilton has the chance to become Silverstone's most successful driver this weekend with a sixth win at the Northamptonshire track.

"I feel like there have been some other incidents in the past which have been less big, in a way, and that have been penalised", her continued.

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