Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has hailed Silverstone as “the ultimate race circuit” and has vowed to fight for the future of the British Grand Prix.

This weekend’s race is the last scheduled event to take place in Silverstone’s current contract after the Northamptonshire circuit activated a break clause in 2017. Negotiations to strike a deal to retain the British Grand Prix from 2020 onwards are ongoing.

In a feature set to be shown as part of Sky Sports F1’s coverage of the British Grand Prix, Hamilton said F1 would lose “so much of its essence” without Silverstone being on the calendar.

"[It's] the ultimate race circuit," Hamilton said, a five-time Silverstone winner. "This is a Grand Prix we can never lose. Formula 1 loses this and it loses so much of its essence.

"It feels to me 'not while I'm racing,'" Hamilton added.

"Not while I'm here, I'll fight for it. This has the biggest crowd of the whole year, this has the biggest attendance of the season, and there's no way I would allow that to happen. We have to fight for it."

Silverstone hosted the first F1 world championship race in 1950 and has been an ever-present on the calendar as the permanent home of the British Grand Prix since 1987.

The Mercedes driver could make yet more history in the sport by claiming a sixth victory at the race should he win this weekend.

"It has become the most anticipated event of the year for me and the one I enjoy the most," the five-time world champion said.

"The fans are really what make the weekend and the atmosphere what it is."

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