'I couldn't conceive Silverstone would lose it': Racing legend Jackie Stewart backs Silverstone deal

Former motorsport champion Jackie Stewart described Silverstone's five-year deal to continue to host the British Grand Prix until at least 2024 as "tremendous."

Sunday, 14th July 2019, 4:19 pm
Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton is now 39 points clear of Bottas in the championship standings. Pictures taken by Kirsty Edmonds.

Silverstone owners, the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), Formula One and Silverstone this week announced a new deal for Silverstone Circuit to host the British Grand Prix until 2024.

This weekend's race - which saw Lewis Hamilton beat Valtteri Bottas to take a record sixth British Grand Prix victory - could have potentially been the last one at Silverstone after the BRDC, which owns the track, activated a break clause in its contract two years ago, saying the cost of hosting the Grand Prix had become too much.

Former Formula One racing driver champion, Jackie Stewart, who was rooting for Lewis Hamilton to win when he spoke to the Chronicle & Echo this morning, said: "It's great to have the British Grand Prix kept.

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British former racing driver, Jackie Stewart, competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships. Pictures taken by Kirsty Edmonds.

"It was the first time it was ever a Grand Prix here at Silverstone. It's tremendous.

"I'm really happy and I hope it has a long future ahead of it."

Earlier this week the BRDC chairman called on the Government to invest more in Silverstone to reflect its local and national economic importance - adding the lack of funds has been a source of tension.

The first F1 world championship race was held in 1950 at Silverstone, and it has been the permanent home of the British Grand Prix since 1987.

Singer Leo Sayer launched his career in the early 1970 and became a household name across the Atlantic. Pictures taken by Kirsty Edmonds.

Leo Sayer, who is famous for hits like "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing", was among the famous faces at the Silverstone Circuit today.

The 1970s singer said he could not conceive a different home for the iconic Northamptonshire-based race and hopes it continues to stay.

"I've been here so many times and have even driven a Formula One car around here," he said.

"It's wonderful - it's like home - you know? I'm a petrol head, absolutely, always have been.

"There's nowhere logically in England that could do this really. It's the only place. Look at the logistics the structure of the infill the way it's laid out, the hospitality.

"The village is so great for the fans with the music. It's a great show and a fantastic thing for Northamptonshire.

"I couldn't conceive that they would ever lose it I can see it going on and on.

When asked this morning who he was rooting for he added: "I don't really root for anyone any longer but Lewis is the best for me he's outrageous. I've known him for a long time but I always say let the best man win."