29 June 2014
Hamilton hoping dream reoccurs at ‘special' F1 race
Lewis Hamilton rates his 2008 British Grand Prix success as one of his finest - now he needs a repeat to kick-start his 2014 F1 championship charge.
Lewis Hamilton carries fond memories of his first F1 success on home soil, and knows that a repeat at Silverstone next weekend would go some way to reigniting his 2014 championship ambitions.
The Briton was in his second season in the top flight when he triumphed at the British Grand Prix, overcoming some typical summer conditions to romp away from the field. Now, after seeing Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg reclaim, and extend, the championship lead, Hamilton is looking for a similar performance to begin closing the gap once more.
“I won the [Silverstone] race in the wet in 2008, which was just the best feeling,” he admitted, “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.”
Hamilton will be the first to admit that he scuppered his own chances of success last time out in Austria, spinning in qualifying and restricting himself to a place on row five of the grid. Despite a blistering getaway and a battling performance which lifted him to second at the end, he still crossed the line behind Rosberg, who heads to Britain with a 29-point cushion in the standings.
“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,” he said, diplomatically, “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.”
Although a lot of his junior career was spent racing the circuits of Europe, Hamilton holds a special affinity for his home track, and was leading comfortably last season before he suffered the first of what would be a series of tyre blow-outs that affected the F1 field.
With the crowd expected to produce a 'stronger' Hamilton, and that in turn bringing out the best in Rosberg, the battle between the two should be as close as ever this weekend. Rosberg took advantage of the assorted tyre problems to win the 2013 British Grand Prix, and a similar success would push him at least 36 points clear of Hamilton heading to Germany in two weeks' time, so the home crowd favourite knows that he needs to take the upper hand this weekend.
“Silverstone is obviously a special race for me and the support I have there is just incredible,” he acknowledged, “Silverstone is a track that really suits my style - it's a seriously fast circuit and making sure you have a stable car through the high-speed corners is crucial – and the British fans are the absolute best in the world. It's really humbling to see thousands of people out there cheering you on, no matter what the weather or the result.”
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