Lewis Hamilton says he feels like he has “been on the back foot all year” until his victory in the British Grand Prix.
Having retired from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton was 25 points behind team-mate Nico Rosberg. Although he won the next four races, Hamilton only took the championship lead after the Spanish Grand Prix as Rosberg finished as runner-up each time, but with Rosberg retiring at Silverstone, Hamilton said his win had finally levelled the playing field.
“Winning at Silverstone was just an incredible feeling - for myself, the team and the fans, I couldn't have asked for more,” Hamilton said. “I feel like I've been on the back foot all year, only briefly leading the Championship despite taking the wins I've had, so to have got myself just about level was exactly what I needed. It's almost a fresh start heading into the second half of the season and it's going to be a really close battle between us.
“Of course, you never want to see your team-mate fall away, but hopefully we can now strike a line under the retirements and push each other all the way on track. You can't have everything - the best car, the best pace, the best speed at the end of the straight and perfect reliability - because things are on the limit. But I know how hard the team are working to get as close to that benchmark as we can possibly be.”
And Hamilton echoed his team-mate's claim from Silverstone that he is keen to deliver in what he sees as a home race for the team.
“There were lots of positives to take from Silverstone. Knowing I'm going into the next race with the best car, having shown that I've got good pace, and knowing that if I do a good job I can be ahead is a good place to be. This is the home Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz, so it's important for the team and important for me. I've won twice before in Germany, but not at Hockenheim since way back in 2008. The aim is to change that this weekend.”