7 JULY 2008

The friendship between Sarah, Duchess of York, and Norwegian millionaire Geir Frantzen appears to be deepening. Over the weekend the pair shared a thrilling day at the Silverstone Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton triumphed over rivals to win his first Formula One victory on home soil.

Pulling off the win on a rain-lashed course made success even sweeter for the sports ace, who dedicated the race to his family.

"It was one of my toughest ever," said Lewis as he stepped on to the podium to celebrate with the customary bubbly. "As I was driving round I was thinking that if I win this it will go down as the best."

If it was a momentous occasion for the young sportsman, for Fergie the outing also marked a significant step. Whereas in the past the 48-year-old Duchess and her charismatic companion have gone to great lengths to avoid being photographed together, on Sunday it was a different story.

They seemed relaxed to be seen in public as they cheered the F1 hero on along with other well-known faces such as presenter Tess Daly, her husband Vernon Kay, and Gordon Ramsay and his family.

Sunday's rendezvous – their third this week after two dinners in London - confirms what the Duchess' spokesman said in May: "Their friendship has grown. It is not up to me to confirm or deny anything. No one has anything to hide here."

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Having enjoyed breaks together in the past and spent time with Sarah's children, the Duchess and her companion now appear relaxed about being photographed together. On Sunday they joined a crowd of 90,000 taking in the Formula One action at Silverstone Photo: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Lewis celebrates his first Grand Prix win on British turf and jointly leading the championshipPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Also watching the race, which took place in torrential rain, was Tess Daly and her husband Vernon KayPhoto: © Getty Images