The Formula 1 field put on a sensational show ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, with drivers and teams taking part in the first ‘F1 Live’ event on the streets of London.

All ten teams brought their show cars, leadership and star drivers – with the sole absentee being Lewis Hamilton. According to the Englishman’s social media channels, he is currently enjoying a mini-vacation.

This is itself highly unusual timing given there is only a one-week gap between the preceding Austrian Grand Prix and this weekend’s round in Britain. What’s even stranger is that Mercedes seemed to permit this absence when the event has been a well-known secret in the paddock for months.

In any respect, it was a bad move by Hamilton, who disappointed thousands of fans who flocked to Trafalgar Square in the hope of seeing him.

With his absence giving a free kick to the tabloids with whom he already has an uneasy relationship, the event nonetheless proved to be a massive success. Here are a selection of our favourite shots from the day:

At least one British World Champion showed up

Jenson Button, F1x2 Seater - 2017 F1 Live London

2009 World Championship winner Jenson Button was the pilot of the F1x2 Seater car (Image via LAT Images)

An iconic McLaren Honda returned to action

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Honda MP4/6 - 2017 F1 Live London

Stoffel Vandoorne demonstrated the McLaren Honda MP4/6 from 1991 – the last V12-powered championship winner (Image via LAT Images)

Ricciardo was nominated to violate the ‘no doughnut’ rule

Stoffel Vandoorne, Romain Grosjean & Daniel Ricciardo - 2017 F1 Live London

Stoffel Vandoorne, Romain Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo chat during the ‘F1 Live’ London event (Image via Sutton Images)

The championship leader delights the London crowd

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Ferrari SF-15T - 2017 F1 Live London

Sebastian Vettel took Ferrari’s SF-15T from 2015 out for a spin down Whitehall (Image via LAT Images)

A champion in waiting drives a championship-winner

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Renault RB7 - 2017 F1 Live London

Max Verstappen puts the 2011 title-winning Red Bull Racing Renault RB7 through its paces (Image via LAT Images)

An F1 demonstration is incomplete without some tyre smoking action

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Ferrari SF-15T - 2017 F1 Live London

Sebastian Vettel lights up his tyres outside Whitehall (Image via Sutton Images)

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Site co-founder. Social Media guru. All-round trouble-maker.