Renault marked the start of the British motor show on Tuesday with a special demonstration run from its F1 team in the heart of Whitehall.

In the presence of Prime Minister Tony Blair, Damon Hill took the wheel of the world championship-winning Renault F1 R25, giving a short demonstration run opposite Downing Street.

“I am proud to have taken part in this unique project," said Hill as he stepped from Fernando Alonso's 2005 championship-winning car. “To have a Formula One car running in the heart of Whitehall, in the presence of the Prime Minister, is the most dramatic way possible of highlighting Britain’s standing in one of the most challenging sporting disciplines in the world."

The R25 and current R26 use engines developed and made in Paris, but the chassis design and manufacturing operation is based in Enstone, Oxfordshire.