Taking time out during British Grand Prix week, seven-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton visited Bicester this morning to open the new headquarters of Motorsport UK.

The governing body of motorsport in the UK moved to Bicester Heritage earlier this year from its historical base at Colnbrook, near London.

He was welcomed by chair David Richards CBE and CEO Hugh Chambers and viewed an art installation The Story of British Motorsport commissioned specially to chart the evolution of the sport from 1905 to the present day, and which includes some of his own career-defining moments.

He also unveiled a commemorative plaque, also specially commissioned using components from one of his 2021 race cars.

Sir Lewis was presented with The Hawthorn Memorial Trophy, awarded annually by Motorsport UK to the most successful British or Commonwealth driver in the F1 World Championship.

It was first presented in memory of Mike Hawthorn, who became Britain’s first F1 World Champion in 1958 but tragically died in a road accident a year later.Oxford Mail: Lewis Hamilton arrives at Motorsport UK's new HQ in Bicester

Lewis chats to Motorsport UK's chair David Richards CBE and CEO Hugh Chambers

The trophy was in recognition for Sir Lewis’s 2020 World Championship title, plus his work campaigning for equal opportunities in motorsport for those from under-privileged and minority backgrounds.

Sir Lewis has now won the trophy 11 times.

Oxford Mail: Lewis Hamilton checks out wall art at Motorsport UK's new HQ in BicesterHe said: “It was an honour to officially open Motorsport UK’s new headquarters today, and to receive The Hawthorn Trophy.

“I’m very proud to race with the Union Jack on my suit and represent my country out there on the track, so receiving this award is always very special to me.

"I know David and the whole team here have big plans in place for the future of our sport, including encouraging the next generation of drivers, and improving diversity, and I hope to be able to visit again soon to see how they progress.”

Mr Richards congratulated him on a report published earlier this week by the Hamilton Commission, formed by Sir Lewis, in partnership with The Royal Academy of Engineering, aimed at improving representation of black people within UK motorsport.

He said: “Motorsport UK is immensely proud and privileged to have welcomed Lewis to our new home in the heart of ‘motorsport valley’ today and I would like to thank him for officially inaugurating the headquarters from which our staff will embark on the next steps in the governing body’s mission to sustain and develop our sport in this country.

“Lewis is a fantastic ambassador for our sport. His achievements are the best possible example to future generations of young drivers looking to follow in his footsteps, but also to everyone participating in motorsport at every level.

He added that “Bicester Heritage has a vision to secure a robust and dynamic future for motoring past, present and future, the businesses that serve this market, and the people who work in the industry” and was, therefore, the perfect backdrop for the organisation's work.

"We wish Lewis a successful weekend at the home of British motorsport,” he said.