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DECEMBER 9, 2008

Ah yes, Mr Prime Minister

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown showed up at the Cafe Royal on Monday in London to present Lewis Hamilton with one of a series of British Racing Drivers™ Club (BRDC) awards. Hamilton won now fewer than five prizes, including a BRDC Gold Star, the ERA Club Trophy, the John Cobb Trophy, the Graham Hill Trophy and the Richard Seaman Trophy.

"On behalf of the whole of the British people, it is a privilege to be able to present this award to Lewis Hamilton for his great successes this year and for the years to come, in a great sport that makes us so proud of Britain. ," said the Prime Minister. "Lewis Hamilton is a true World Champion."

Although the event turned into a Hamilton-fest, there were other awards to Sir Frank Williams, who was presented with the Colin Chapman Trophy for an individual "who has shown great team spirit, be it a driver, team owner, engineer or similar", David Coulthard won the Earl Howe Trophy for the best performance by a British driver in north America, while McLaren's Steve Hallam was awarded the Sir Jackie Stewart Award for the motorsport engineer who has shown brilliance during the course of the season.

Ron Dennis was also awarded a BRDC Gold Star in recognition for his achievements with McLaren. Among those attending the event were the last two British F1 World Champions, Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell and Sir Stirling Moss, who was named a Vice President for Life for the BRDC.

It was a feather in the cap of the BRDC that it was able to get the Prime Minister to attend. It is just a shame that his involvement in motorsport is only in relation to reflected success and that his government will not do more to help save the British GP at Silverstone and to support the country's motorsport industry in a more active way with incentives and tax breaks.