"The sport's all about the fans", said Formula One's extravagantly moustachioed chairman Chase Carey on an evening of cars and music as well as events to showcase the sport's educational activities. The season's the most important thing for me, and that's really it. Obviously, people are going to have opinions about it, but this is a very intense season.
But Hamilton was the lone absentee of this year's crop of 20 drivers after he chose to go on holiday rather than appear in front of thousands of British supporters. "I always assumed he still was, and that just shows he still is".
"Mercedes seem to be able to pull out a bit more performance than us". Every season for the last 10 years has been incredible, it's been growing every year.
Hamilton, 32, will be bidding to become the first driver to win at Silverstone on four consecutive occasions. "His teammate won the race, which is actually good, taking away Vettel's points". It's going to be hardest to win so you make sacrifices. "We have reached the tipping point".
It is a risky strategy, and one which could backfire if Liberty refuse to play ball.
"It is certainly our plan as long as we're running formula one to have a race in the UK", said F1 CEO Chase Carey.
"You get people who have saved up so much to come to this grand prix".
Having salvaged a podium from a disjointed Baku weekend, Bottas was impressive in Austria.
"We want to connect with the fans in every way possible and today is a step in that direction". The Briton lost further ground to his rival at the last round of the title race in Austria after he finished only fourth, with his weekend blighted by a gearbox issue.
"The championship battle is very tight and we have potentially three drivers chasing the top spot, although others are capable of winning races along the way", continued the Stevenage-born racer.
When asked about his thoughts about Hamilton not attending, Vettel smiled and said: "I don't care to be honest".
Qualifying for the Silverstone GP takes place at 1pm tomorrow, Saturday, with the race itself 24 hours later. Bottas said on Sunday night.
How did the other drivers react?
2009 world champion Jenson Button drove fashion model Naomi Campbell in a two-seater while Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne gave the fans a glimpse of the late Ayrton Senna's 1991 McLaren. I don't see it as a fight or anything.
His failure to attend the spectacle in Trafalgar Square, orchestrated by F1 owners Liberty Media, has proved a public-relations nightmare.
Britain should be the one stop on the Formula One calendar where Lewis Hamilton is guaranteed a warm welcome. "It'd not only risk the future of Silverstone and the BRDC, but also the British motorsport community that depends on us".
"I think it was just not positive for him".