THAT'S BETTER: Lewis Hamilton (right) was delighted to receive the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy from Rob Jones, Motor Sports Association boss, at Silverstone on Thursday 2 July, ahead of this weekend’s British GP. Image: MSA UK / Twitter
SILVERSTONE, England – Two-times Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton now has one of the sport's most prestigious trophies only days after moaning about the poor quality of some of Formula 1’s podium prizes.
The Mercedes driver received the Mike Hawthorn Memorial Trophy, awarded annually since 1959 to the most successful British or Commonwealth driver in the previous year's championship, at Silverstone.
A roll-call of greats who have won the trophy in the past has among them Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill.
Hamilton won 11 races in 2014 on the way to his second championship.
"That's a real trophy," Hamilton said after collecting the memorial to Britain's first Formula 1 champion, Mike Hawthorn, who won the title for Ferrari in 1958 then died in a road crash (video) a year later.
"To be among all these great names on here, that's what a real trophy should have - all this history. When I'm talking about trophies... this is what I'm talking about. This is class, this is history. It's real silverware and that's what I race for.
"When I finish a race, that's the best reward you can get. I relate it to Olympians who go out there and get the gold medals. It's not cheap plastic, it's real."
Speaking earlier in the week, Hamilton had questioned the quality of some of the trophies he had been presented with on the podium.
REAL METAL, PLEASE?
"The last one in Austria was wooden, the whole thing was wooden. The base was like lead. I mean, what? It's supposed to be silver," he had said of the offering he received after finishing second to team mate Nico Rosberg at the 2015 Austrian GP.
In 2014 he had expressed his dissatisfaction with the 'plastic' trophies handed out at Silverstone by race sponsor Santander.
The winner of the British GP has, traditionally, had his name engraved on the gold Royal Automobile Club trophy, first awarded in 1948.
Hamilton will want to get his hands on that one as well on Sunday.
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