British Grand Prix 2017

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Lewis Hamilton remains defiant about his decision not to attend the Formula One event held in London as a precursor to Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The event, organised by the sport's new owners Liberty Media, was the first time Formula One cars had driven in London since 2004.

The 32-year-old skipped the auto run at Whitehall to holiday with friends in Greece, saying it is more important he's fully relaxed ahead of this weekend's crucial race.

The British Racing Drivers Club, Silverstone's owner, signed its 17-year contract out of desperation after briefly losing the race to Donnington Park, which hit financial troubled before it had the chance to run its first grand prix.

"Everyone has the right to make decisions for themselves, and for me I felt with the intensity of the season so far that I needed to prepare the best way I could for the battle this weekend".

"That is where I feel I like to put my energy mostly. But I fly a lot longer than that for trips and I usually arrive feeling pretty good".

But yesterday at Silverstone Hamilton did not seem keen to limit the fall-out of his no-show and stuck to his guns that taking a break was created to give him the best preparation for a race that means so much to him.

"I've tried to prepare the best that I can by being very relaxed over the past few days", Hamilton said.

"You've got the championship which is the most important thing, but a very close second, if not tied, is the British Grand Prix".

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"Our focus is still to preserve the British Grand Prix".

"I think I do try to connect with the fans and I try to engage as much as I can", Hamilton added.

An interview published on the morning of the F1 Live show was drowning in irony, as Hamilton claimed: "I wish there was more time to see the fans".

The popularity and reputation of the championship-leading Vettel, of Ferrari, has been severely tarnished in recent weeks while Hamilton has suffered a sequence of misfortunes to slip 20 points adrift. If F1 organised such an important event for the fans like that in Brazil and I'm not there in Sao Paolo or any important town, I can not do that, that's the way I am.

Lewis Hamilton will head into his home race at Silverstone amid a cloud of local booing.

"Ultimately we have decisions to make and you have to stand firm with the decisions you make and feel proud of the decisions you make", he insisted. I'm reassured we can make everyone safe in London and we're going to make sure events are successful.

London mayor Sadiq Khan says he is keen to listen to plans about the potentially holding the British Grand Prix in the capital. They always have. Outside of the sport I do things that people don't comment on - like visits to young kids in hospitals who can't come to Grand Prix.

"I hope we will have more luck at our home race than we did last weekend in Austria".

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