Lewis Hamilton heads into next weekend’s British Grand Prix knowing he has a great chance of winning his home race for the second time, with teammate Nico Rosberg the only realistic rival for victory.
The British driver won the race back in 2008 for McLaren with one of his finest displays in a Formula 1 car, but has since failed to return to the top step of the podium. He was leading from pole position at last year’s race, only for a tire failure to scupper his hopes of victory and force him to settle for a fourth place finish.
In 2014 though, Mercedes has been the dominant force, and Hamilton will be keen on cutting the gap to championship leader Rosberg on home soil.
“Silverstone is obviously a special race for me and the support I have there is just incredible,” he explained. “The British fans are the absolute best in the world and it’s really humbling to see thousands of people out there cheering you on – no matter what the weather or the result.
“I won the race in the wet in 2008, which was just the best feeling. I think the gap was around 60 seconds at the end, and I’d lapped everyone up to third place which was just unreal. I could never have hoped or dreamed for a race like that – especially at my home grand prix. That has to be one of the best moments of my career.
“I loved raising that gold trophy in front of the home crowds and I’m determined to get my hands on it again this year.”
In Austria, Hamilton slipped to 29 points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ championship after finishing second to the German, and he will want to avoid losing even more ground at Silverstone.
“It was great to get another one-two finish for the team in Austria and I’m so proud of all the hard work everyone is putting in to keep us at the front this season,” the Briton said. “Of course, it wasn’t the result I wanted personally and it was disappointing not to be able to capitalise on my pace when it was clearly there. But in the end, coming back to second place was positive in terms of damage limitation.”