Britain's racing body, the Motor Sports Association, has added to the voices praising Lewis Hamilton for his achievements this season, and commiserating with the McLaren driver after his missed out on the world title in Brazil on the weekend.

Chief executive Colin Hilton paid tribute to Hamilton after the Briton finished as runner-up to Kimi Raikkonen in the 2007 standings, and lauded his role in boosting interest in motorsports in the UK.

"Lewis' achievements have taken the world by storm this year," Hilton said, "He has demonstrated extraordinary talent and composure and although he ultimately missed out on the world championship, it has still been an incredible performance in his rookie season.

"For those of us who have watched his progress, and witnessed his development, over more than a decade in the UK's junior formulae, his success this season has come as no surprise. His path to the top has included all the major stepping stones from karting through to single-seaters, and his winning pedigree has been displayed throughout.

"Lewis' performances have been fantastic news for the whole of British motor sport. No fewer than nine of the current F1 drivers learned their trade in the UK's domestic championships and Lewis' results will bring further credibility to the UK as the world's best proving ground for young drivers.

"But, even more importantly, we now have an incredible platform on which to develop motorsport in this country. The British public has been gripped by Lewis' exploits this year; the media has got behind him and more people than ever are becoming interested in the sport. We have a series of initiatives in the coming months, designed to increase participation and bring more people to the exciting world of motorsport, either as competitor, volunteer or official.

"For today, however, let us delight in Lewis' marvellous achievements this season. I have little doubt that this is just the start of a glorious F1 career that will one day see him crowned as the UK's ninth Formula One world champion."



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