2008 F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has said that it is 'fantastic' news that the British Racing Drivers' Club has inked a 17-year agreement to stage the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from 2010.
A press conference in London today finally confirmed speculation that the BRDC and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had agreed terms to keep the British Grand Prix on the F1 schedule in the wake of the proposed move to Donington Park collapsing due a lack of funding.
"British fans are the greatest F1 supporters in the world, it is the best Christmas present they could ask for," Hamilton told BBC Sport Online
. "It's fantastic news the race will stay on the calendar and it's great the race will be at Silverstone.
"Silverstone has an atmosphere, heritage and tradition 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 2007 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.
"I can't wait to come home to the British Grand Prix next year now when both Jenson [Button] and I will be flying the flag for Britain and doing our best to win the race."
Button meanwhile, who will of course team up with Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes in 2010, was equally chuffed: "I can't imagine an F1 season without a British Grand Prix, so this is great news," the 2009 F1 world champion continued. "There are so many people who work in the sport who are British, we have a massive fan base out there.
"You only have to look at Silverstone last summer to know how many fans we have. Everyone can relax now and get ready to enjoy themselves next year at Silverstone. It is one of the great circuits, and now they can concentrate on making it better year-on-year."
F1 legend Murray Walker, echoed those thoughts: "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 on behalf of all of them I'd like to say thank you very much to those people at Silverstone, and very well done," he concluded.