SILVERSTONE, July 2- World champion Lewis Hamilton is seeking a return to his most dominant form on home soil this weekend when he bids to beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the British Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old Englishman has only a 10-points advantage over the German following Rosberg’s victory at the Austrian Grand Prix and knows he needs to regain his earlier supremacy to repeat his triumph in last year’s race.
“I don’t feel like I ever really reached my peak in Austria,” said Hamilton.
“It wasn’t the smoothest of weekends for me, so to come away with second place wasn’t a disaster in the circumstances.
“Silverstone, though… that’s different. I can’t describe the feeling I had last year, lifting that trophy again in front of a sea of fans on pit straight, after so many years, and after a tough start to the weekend too.
“It’s something that will always stay with me and nothing less than the same again will do. I’m lucky enough to have fans all around the world, but winning in front of your home crowd is something else.
“We have a fantastic car this year, even better than in 2014 and it should suit this track. I’ll be going all out to make the most of it.”
Rosberg’s triumph at the Red Bull Ring was his third in four races and confirmed the momentum that has recharged his title challenge after a season-opening period in which he was swept aside by Hamilton.
“My week in Austria could not have come together much better,” said Rosberg. “Apart from a mistake in qualifying, I felt right on top of things from the start and it was great to get another win.
“With the extra day in the car testing on Wednesday, also, helping the team prepare for Silverstone, I feel ready to go full attack at a circuit I really enjoy. It should suit our car nicely with the focus on down-force and we learned some useful things during the test.
“I’m sure we’ll be strong once again. The crowds are really incredible at this race and it’s always a great atmosphere. Of course, I know they have their favourite, but hopefully we can have a good fight and keep the fans on their feet.”
As the Mercedes duo head towards the ninth round of the 19-race season amid temperatures soaring towards 35 degrees Celsius, their duel has left many observers calling for changes – or a Ferrari revival — to add drama to the championship and the sport.
Two major surveys of Formula One fans and supporters – one carried out by the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (PGDA) — resulted in calls for a return to refuelling and a ‘tyre war’, but neither received much support from paddock insiders.
“If you go back and look at what Ferrari did, with Bridgestone (tyres) against Renault, with Michelin, everyone else suffered,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
“And bringing in more durable tyres will make the racing worse — you’ll have one-stop races which are never exciting.”
McLaren chief operating officer Jonathan Neale, whose team are ready to endure a very difficult home event with more grid penalties for engine changes, said he felt that the penalties were too severe and complex – and not understood by the fans.
In Austria, the last two rows of the grid were filled by the two Renault-powered Red Bulls and the two struggling McLaren-Hondas, after both teams were penalised severely.
“It’s a bit strange trying to explain the penalties,” said Neale. “I find it hard to reconcile that when drivers are receiving 25-place penalties on a grid which only has 20 cars.
“We have to be able to explain to the fans what the reason is for this. I don’t think we have done a very good job at that.”