THE BLING KING: Championship leader Lewis Hamilton is looking for a special gold trophy, seen here with one of his many neck adornments, at Silverstone this weekend at the 2015 British GP. Image: AFP / Greg Baker
LONDON, England - Lewis Hamilton likes gold and intends to get his hands on a pot of it after the British Formula 1 GP at Silverstone on Sunday (July 5 2015).
The Mercedes driver, who often wears a substantial gold neck adornment in the paddock, will be on the grid for his home GP with every chance of repeating 2014's success.
If he does win the race for a third time, he expects to be handed something worthy of the occasion when he mounts the podium.
The 30-year-old told reporters before a Petronas event at Mercedes-Benz World near the old Brooklands circuit south of London: "Last year they gave me this plastic thing and I'm, like, 'This is not the trophy, it's like a GP2 trophy not the Formula 1 trophy'."
Silverstone hosted the first F1 championship race in 1950 and the winner of the British GP has his name engraved on the golden Royal Automobile Club trophy first awarded in 1948.
"The gold one, that's really special," Hamilton said. "It would be great if each country had a real trophy like that with character, one that will grow over the years because it's got history.
"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."
Hamilton has won four of the eight races so far in 2015 - he had 11 wins in 2014 and carries a 10 point lead over team mate Nico Rosberg into the weekend with organisers expecting most of the record 140 000 crowd to be backing the Brit.
Whatever the quality of the trophy ultimately on offer on Sunday, Hamilton left no doubt that Silverstone has a special place in his heart. "I remember watching (1992 champion) Nigel Mansell holding the Union flag in the car. It's like the Olympics, like a gold medal, having the flag in the car after winning the GP.
"It is the closest thing I can imagine to having a gold medal. I might just get one made for myself - I have enough gold," he joked.
He recognised, however, that the real value lay in winning something money could not buy.
"It is huge," he said of the race. "I hope I can go there and make people proud."