Lewis Hamilton excited for 'special' British GP as he chases win record
"I feel like I have a mountain to climb and who better to help me do it than the British fans"; Hamilton also speaks about 'unreal' record
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 12/07/19 8:14am
Lewis Hamilton has heralded the British GP as the "most special" race of the year and says he embraces the "excitement", "adrenaline" and "pressure" as he bids to make history with another Silverstone victory.
Hamilton has enjoyed incredible success at Silverstone, as well as support from the passionate fans, and there promises to be another record crowd at Northamptonshire's iconic track this weekend as the Mercedes driver looks to become the first driver to win the British GP six times.
"The British Grand Prix is the most special grand prix of the year given the sheer magnitude of it and just how many people come for the weekend, and how many British flags you see around here," Hamilton said about the event, which had its contract renewed on Wednesday.
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"It really is a spectacular weekend. There's excitement, there's the adrenaline going, there's pressure - my whole family is coming this weekend - it's that one weekend where it's the most special because you've got your family and closest support around you.
"I've been really privileged to come here and have some spectacular races."
Though the five-time world champion arrives back in the UK on the back of his most disappointing race of the year, only finishing fifth in Austria a fortnight ago, Hamilton is clearly buoyed by his home support and added to Sky F1: "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."
The British GP record Hamilton is chasing this weekend is 52 years old. He has won the race five times, along with Jim Clark, who first set the mark in 1967, before Alain Prost matched it in 1993.
"The fact that that's even a possibility is quite unreal for me," admitted Hamilton. "But I think it's really important to put that kind of stuff out of your head and out of your mind.
"This weekend is not going to be easy for us so it's about being diligent and making sure we've left no stone unturned.
"These cars all have sweet spots and all those sweet spots don't always work at each track, but this has been a strong track for us in the past. So hopefully this weekend it will be a sweet spot for us."
Hamilton wary of Ferrari, Red Bull threat
When Hamilton speaks about "pressure" he is more likely referring to carrying the hopes of a nation at his home race - but his "mountain to climb" comment could relate to Red Bull and Ferrari's impressive turn in form in Austria.
Max Verstappen beat Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to victory at Spielberg, with Mercedes only managing third and fifth.
The cooler UK temperatures should help the world champions, winners of the previous eight races, return to form, but Hamilton warned: "I think we're fully aware that Ferrari and the Red Bulls have taken a step forward."
Hamilton, whose four-year Silverstone win streak was ended by Sebastian Vettel last season, continued to Sky F1's Ted Kravitz: "Red Bull - their new engine and their package seems to be working better. And then the Ferraris are quick on the straights, were generally quicker here last year - I just pipped them in qualifying.
"I think it's going to be a close weekend."
Hamilton does still lead the championship by 36 points, and asked to assess his tilt for a sixth world championship so far, the Englishman admitted his F1 2019 had been "incredible" so far.
"It's definitely been the best start to a season I've had and it's crazy to think where we are currently," he said.
"There's still so far to go. If you look at the last race, just one race before people were saying it's a boring season and then all of a sudden we have an exciting race. I anticipate it could be similar this weekend "
F1 2019 heads to Silverstone for the big event of the motorsport summer. Join Sky Sports F1 for extensive coverage across the weekend - the race starts at 2.10pm. Find out more here to watch all the season live.