McLaren man Lewis Hamilton took the runners-up spot at the British Grand Prix today in front of his home fans, a result that further extends his lead in the race for the F1 2010 drivers' title.

Hamilton, who had qualified fourth, made a great start and he was immediately up to second, passing Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, and then holding P2 all the way to the chequered flag.

It was a remarkable turn-around for the Englishman and McLaren, after the team had to abandon running its 'blown diffuser' following practice on Friday. That left them on the backfoot but after a tremendous lap in qualifying - one Lewis said was his 'best ever' - he pushed on and he maintained the momentum today to pick up 18 points and increase his tally for the year to 145.

"It's been a phenomenal weekend - and this result is a near-perfect way to finish it. I'm so happy: considering how far behind we were in practice, we really didn't expect to be this far up today. I'm very proud of the team and the effort they put in, as always," Hamilton said.

"At the start, I was able to jump Fernando [Alonso] and take a step forward. After that I chased Mark [Webber] for the whole race, but the Red Bull was about four or five tenths a lap faster than our car, so it was very difficult to stay close to him.

"Still, the most important thing is that we scored a lot of world championship points once again, so this is another great race result for us.

"It's been the biggest turnout I've ever seen here. And the support from all the fans has been incredible, I couldn't ask for more. You can't hear them cheering their support in the car, but you can feel it; and I carry every single one of them with me in the car. They give me a huge boost of confidence on every lap.

"We've got two weeks to work on our upgrades before the next grand prix. I won the last race at Hockenheim, in 2008, and if we can get the new floor there, we should be looking pretty strong. We've just got to keep pushing: this world championship is still all to play for."

McLaren boss, Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile was impressed with Hamilton's performance.

"Lewis made a superb start and thereafter kept the pace up all afternoon. He drove brilliantly - in fact I don't think you'll see many better second places than that all season," Whitmarsh added.