Lewis Hamilton said he is “blown away” by the decision to rename Silverstone’s start-finish straight in his name.
The British Racing Drivers’ Club, owners of the Northamptonshire circuit, have announced that the International Pits Straight will now become the Hamilton Straight in tribute to the seven-time Formula One world champion.
It is the only part of the track to be named after a driver.
“That is insane,” said Hamilton, when BRDC chairman David Coulthard informed him of the honour. “That is definitely a curveball. I don’t even know what to say.”
Speaking on Channel 4, Hamilton added: “I remember going to Silverstone and watching Nigel Mansell and seeing that incredible crowd and I have also experienced it year-on-year. It is something so close to my heart.
“I am blown away. No driver has had that, so I am very grateful, very humbled, and a big thank you to everyone for supporting me. I hope I can continue to make the BRDC and the Brits proud for the time I am racing.”
Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s championship haul at the Turkish Grand Prix last month. The 35-year-old from Stevenage also has more wins (95) pole positions (98) and podiums (164) than any other driver in the sport’s history. He has also won his home race on seven occasions.
Coulthard, a 13-time grand prix winner, said: “I was delighted, in my capacity as President of the BRDC, to share this news with Lewis today.
“Lewis has become a huge part of this history and the directors of the Club and I felt there was no better way to mark this than to rename the iconic pits straight in recognition of his record-breaking achievements.”
Hamilton will bid to close out his record-breaking season with his 12th win of the year. He starts Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from third on the grid.