Damon Hill has hailed the success of the 2010 British Grand Prix and hopes that it can set precedence for years to come.
The chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) has worked tirelessly over the past few years to safeguard the future of the Silverstone event, and following a strong start to its long-term contract, Hill is relieved that it proved to be such a triumph.
“I have to sayâ€¦ it’s been a fantastic kick off to the new contract.â€ Hill told the BBC’s F1 Forum
“There were anxious moments with the change of the circuit design; because none of us knew how it is was going to pan out. But I think I saw lots of guys having a go down the inside evenâ€¦ at Brooklands, which I thought would be too fast for people having a shot.â€
Although the new layout was warmly received by fans, a number of drivers complained of the bumpy nature of its surface. However, while Hill admits that race organisers will take these views on board, he does not want to take anything away from the challenge of the new circuit.
“We’ll do a download of all the information from the drivers and we’ll try and assess what the big problems are. But I don’t think we should try and make it perfect because… it’s the difficultly which actually makes the racing interesting.â€
The 1996 world champion attributed much of the event’s success to the competitiveness of British drivers, past and present, and underlined the BRDC’s commitment to nurturing future stars.
“I think that a lot of people come to see a British winner and that’s what really has kept Silverstone afloat over the years.â€
“Lewis is younger than Jenson, I hope Jenson goes on for a long time yet, but we do need more people coming up from behind.
“The BRDC has been trying to find and help young British drivers in the SuperStars programme to continue the ‘through-put’.â€
“But the history of the BRDC has shown that we have always been at the front, but we can never rest on our laurels.â€
Hill has also assured fans that race organisers will try their upmost to host the event on the same month, to ensure that it remains best placed to experience the best of the British summer.
“I think that we’ve gotâ€¦ a window [in the contract] so I think that there is a way of fixing it in this position. It should be on this time of year, it’s perfect.â€
“It can rain in July, as we know, but we’ve been blessed this weekend and it’s a good start.â€
The success of Silverstone’s changes was underlined when the circuit received praise from its biggest critic, Bernie Ecclestone something which came as a surprise to the 1994 race winner.
“I hope it’s not just a rumour.â€ He smirked. “I don’t know what’s come over him… It’s good to hear.â€
Tickets are already on sale for next year’s event, with the circuit expected to feature a brand new pit and paddock area.