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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Hamilton 'could save British GP'
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton is the youngest driver to lead the world championship
Lewis Hamilton's success in Formula One could help Silverstone retain the British Grand Prix, according to the British Racing Drivers' Club.

Silverstone, which is owned by the BRDC, could lose the right to host the event after its contract runs out in 2009 unless the venue is modernised.

"Members like Lewis are only helping us," said BRDC chairman Robert Brooks.

"The Hamilton factor is very positive and helpful in keeping the British Grand Prix."

Silverstone has the contract to host the event until 2009 but F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has expressed his desire to see facilities improved at the ageing track.

Silverstone is home for Lewis Hamilton
BRDC chairman Robert Brooks

The BRDC are working on a plan to redevelop the site and secure the future of the Grand Prix.

"We are in the advanced stages of applying for planning permission for Silverstone, then we will look to agree a new contract with Formula One," added Brooks.

"We will do all we can to retain the British Grand Prix."

Hamilton has had a superb start to his F1 career and currently leads the drivers' championship after claiming successive victories in Canada and at the US Grand Prix.

And Brooks says he is looking forward to the 22-year-old returning to Silverstone for the British GP on 8 July.

"It's the first time for many years we've had a British driver who looks favourite to win the race," added Brooks.

"Silverstone is home for Lewis Hamilton. He is a member of the BRDC and it has been the site of many of his great races.

"It is also where Lewis made one of the most spectacular overtaking manoeuvres and he knows it like the back of his hand.

"It is great for British motorsport."

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