Lewis Hamilton won a record sixth British Grand Prix this weekend as the famous race celebrates its 70th edition in the Formula 1 era.
A fixture on the F1 calendar since 1950, the race bounced around between Silverstone, Aintree and Brands Hatch before finally making the Northamptonshire track its permanent home in 1987.
There were real fears the 2019 race could have been the last at the former World War Two airfield after Silverstone exercised a break clause in its contract because of escalating fees.
However, a new multi-year deal to keep the race at the famous old track – which first hosted a British Grand Prix in 1948 and held the first World Championship F1 race two years later – was announced on Wednesday.
Last year’s British Grand Prix fell one day after England’s footballers were involved in the small matter of a World Cup quarter-final against Sweden, which they handily won 2-0.
Hopes were high that Hamilton could add to the country’s feelgood factor with victory in his home race, but the Mercedes man made a terrible start and tangled with Kimi Raikkonen at the first corner, dropping him to the back.
Victory instead went to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – the German stealing a march in his battle with Hamilton for a fifth world title – as the Briton recovered brilliantly to finish in second place.
Hamilton exacted revenge by winning in Germany two weeks later after Vettel crashed out of a race that proved pivotal in the ultimate destiny of championship.
Hamilton’s Silverstone mishap a year ago leaves him stuck on five British GP wins – a record he shares with compatriot Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost.
And while Ferrari have the most victories at a British Grand Prix – 17 to Mercedes’ six – few would bet against Mercedes and Hamilton getting the job done this year after a return of six wins in nine races so far.
Ferrari will of course having something to say about that, especially after the pace they showed at this race a year ago, not to mention Austria two weeks ago, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – winner at the Red Bull Ring last time out – cannot be discounted.