Silverstone Circuit has been inundated with fans booking tickets for nest year's British Grand Prix following Lewis Hamilton's dramatic clinching of the Formula One world
title in Brazil two weekends ago.
The week following the Interlagos showdown between Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa saw the Northamptonshire circuit sell just under 22,000 tickets for next year's British round, potentially the last for some time at Silverstone following F1's deal to move to Donington park in 2010. The rise in ticket sales represents a near ten-fold gain in the average weekly level for this time of year, with approximately 2500 tickets being sold during the equivalent week in 2007.
“The reaction from fans since Brazil has been incredible," admitted Silverstone Circuit MD Richard Phillips, "We always notice an increase in sales when Lewis wins or, indeed, if any of the British drivers do well, but the level of demand for tickets last week exceeded all expectations.
“He is a fantastic ambassador for British motorsport and thoroughly deserved to be crowned world champion. We are already looking forward to seeing him here at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in June. The atmosphere will be amazing.”
Hamilton's predecessor as the last British driver to win the F1 title, Damon Hill, was at Silverstone to cheer on Hamilton at a screening of the Brazilian Grand Prix in the BRDC clubhouse, and the current club president admitted that he was excited at the prospect of Hamilton returning to the circuit with the #1 on his McLaren in 2009.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Lewis back to Great Britain as a world champion," he commented, "A British driver as world champion, driving for a British team – we are going to have an unbelievable party at the British Grand Prix in June.
“Next year will be a whole new experience for Lewis as world champion. Expectations will be higher than ever, but he will also receive unbelievable support from the fans – nowhere more so than here at Silverstone for his home race.”