Hamilton aiming to find Silverstone 'sweet spot'

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with the media.
© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton expects Mercedes to be back up to full strength this weekend, in time for his home race at Silverstone.

The team suffered its first flop of the 2019 season last time out in Austria, with Hamilton finishing in fifth place and his team mate Valtteri Bottas only just managing to get on the podium in third.

It was the first Grand Prix of the season that hadn't been won by one of the two Silver Arrows drivers. Mercedes subsequently blamed high temperatures in Spielberg resulting in overheating issues on the W10, combined with problems arising from the high altitude.

Neither should be a factor in Sunday's British Grand Prix, and Hamilton is hoping that it means he'll be back at the front before his home crowd. However he admitted that nine races into the current campaign, it was now getting a lot tighter at the top.

"I suspect this weekend, it will be closer between us all," he told the FIA Thursday afternoon press conference.

"I'm trying to make sure I remain calm and level-headed. I feel like I have a mountain to climb this weekend and who better to help me do it than the British fans?

"We’re fully aware that the Ferraris and the Red Bulls have taken a step forward, and the pace that they had in the last race was great.

“I think it looked a lot better than [it would have done] if we didn't have the issues that we had – we would have been a lot closer, would have been more of a fight.

"Last year Ferrari were super-fast here as well, as were the Red Bulls," he continued. "I think the Red Bulls were a little bit down, but now they've got the new engine so I think they'll be a little bit quicker.

"It's definitely not going to be an easy weekend," he acknowledged. "[But] hopefully we'll have a better shot.

"It's really just about being diligent, making sure we’ve left no stone unturned," he explained.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1

"All these cars all have sweet spots, and those sweet spots don't always work at each track. But this has been a strong track for us in the past, and hopefully this weekend, it will be in the sweet spot for us.”

Despite the blip last time out, Hamilton still has a convincing lead in the drivers championship by 197 points to 166 for Bottas. Mercedes leads the constructors standings by 135 points over Ferrari.

"It's definitely been the best start to a season I've had and it's crazy to think where we are currently," Hamilton said.

While this weekend's focus will be on extending the lead in both championships, there are some other notable achievements and accolades within Hamilton's reach.

A win on Sunday would break Alain Prost and Jim Clark’s joint record of five British Grand Prix victory. If he were to claim pole for his home race it would break Ayrton Senna's record of six at his own home event.

“I'm not really one for records," insisted Hamilton. "If it happens this weekend, it does, if it doesn't, it's no biggy for me - I'm hoping to be here for a little bit longer!

"Just the fact that that's even a possibility is quite unreal for me," he admitted. "I think just ultimately, it's really important to put that stuff out of your head, out of your mind and focus on the job at hand."

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