Local teams aim for home success

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Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, is aiming to repeat his 2008 success at Silverstone this weekend as the F1 circuit heads to the famous British circuit, write Colin and James Beckett.

Silverstone hosted the very first FIA F1 World Championship race in 1950 and has since played an integral part in the world of Formula 1.

Despite the venue coming under attack from organisers and spectators, Silverstone continues to rise to the challenge and offer drivers one of the sport’s ultimate challenges. The high-speed nature of the former RAF Silverstone airfield is adored by Grand Prix drivers, and many rank the track as one of their favourites.

Speaking in the build-up to the race, Hamilton said: “Silverstone is very special. It has a great atmosphere and the fans really appreciate everything you do for them. I was lucky to win the British Grand Prix a few years back and I really want to win it again.

“This weekend things will not be easy for me as everything will depend on tyre wear. The weather will play an important part in proceedings as everyone will have a different strategy if it rains.”

Mercedes, who were reprimanded last week for taking part in a secret tyre test, are currently third in the Constructors’ World Championship, with drivers Hamilton and Nico Rosberg fourth and sixth respectively in the Drivers’ standings.

Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team boss, said: “We have to keep our minds on racing at all times and despite the spotlight being on our team for conducting a tyre test, our focus is on Silverstone and the British Grand Prix.

“This is a big race for us for many reasons, not only because it is close to our team workshop, but because it is the start of the second leg of European events in the calendar.”

Meanwhile, the Sahara Force India team are based a couple of hundred metres from the main circuit entrance, and the Vijay Mallya-owned squad are also confident ahead of their home race.

Speaking this week, Paul di Resta, who is also a member of the Silverstone owning British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), said: “This is such a big race for any British driver. It has a very special feeling and I am really looking forward to it.”

His Force India team-mate, Adrian Sutil, added: “This may not be my own home Grand Prix, but it is for the team and hence that makes it special.

“The Silverstone crowd is always very good and the track is fast and good to drive. I am looking forward to scoring some good points this weekend.”

The part Bicseter-based Toro Rosso squad have been showing good form of late, and Daniel Riccirdo and Jean-Eric Vergne are both keen to perform well at Silverstone.

Vergne scored his best ever Grand Prix result in Canada during the last race, and the Frenchman said: “Silverstone is great. I really enjoy racing at the track and I also had good success there when I raced British Formula 3. Silverstone offers a traditional racing venue and is not sterile like many tracks we visit. It is old school and I like that. Everyone should have a great weekend.”