Formula 1 "couldn't live without Silverstone" being on the calendar, according to Williams driver George Russell.

The British Grand Prix’s future at Silverstone had been in doubt after the circuit’s owners triggered a break-out clause in its contract in 2017, but on Wednesday a fresh five-year deal was announced, meaning the event will remain at its current Northamptonshire home until at least the end of 2024.

Russell, who is contesting his first British Grand Prix at Silverstone, said he was delighted by the renewal.

“I’m obviously very pleased for it to be on the calendar again,” Russell said.

“I think F1 couldn’t live without Silverstone. It’s the home of the British Grand Prix. Formula 1 is a very British sport and overall it’s just an amazing circuit to drive and there’s something special about Silverstone when you come here.”

Reigning F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has claimed four out of the last five British GP victories, added: “It wasn’t necessarily a surprise. As I spoke to you guys before I knew that it was going to happen.

“It’s clear the Formula 1 can’t exist without the home of motorsport, which is the British Grand Prix. Yeah, really, really happy. It’s great for the fan base and for that to continuously grow over the next years to come.”

Fellow Briton Lando Norris, who will take part in his first home race of his F1 career this weekend, said it would have been a shame not to return to Silverstone after this season.

“I’ve race here in the past and I love driving Silverstone,” he explained. “It would have been a shame to ever see it go, especially if I only would have done this race, this year and not done it again.

“Glad to see it still here and I look forward to coming back every year.”

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who made his F1 debut at Silverstone in 2011 with HRT, commented: “I’m very happy. It’s a cool track, cool atmosphere.

“It was eight years ago this weekend, it was my F1 debut here, so it’s always been pretty personal to me. But I’ve enjoyed it.

“I don’t know how it would feel being somewhere else. It feels normal and right it have it here. It feels like the home of British motorsport. I like that.

“There’s that real camping atmosphere, that festival vibe. Yeah, the Brits love it and we do too.”

 

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