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2014 Brit GP: Make or break for Lewis

2014-07-03 08:46


HOME VICTORY LOOMS: Lewis Hamilton could win his home race at the 2014 British GP unless he is trumped by Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg. Image: AP/Darko Vojinovic

SILVERSTONE, England  - Silverstone will celebrate its 50th Formula 1 GP on July 6 with all eyes on Lewis Hamilton as the home favourite and with a real chance of winning a race he cannot afford to lose.

Not since 2008 has he won the British GP - that was with McLaren. Now with Mercedes, he needs a change of fortune more than ever as he seeks to cut team mate Nico Rosberg's 29-point lead in the Drivers’ championship.

Hamilton said: "I'm gunning for Silverstone. In 2013 I was more hopeful than ever... that weekend it was definitely gutting not to win, to not bring it home for the country and for the fans. We have another chance this year and I'll be doing absolutely everything to make sure we're in front."


Hamilton won in 2008 and made pole in 2013 but an exploding tyre, a feature of the race that forced Pirelli to make changes, wrecked his chance and handed victory to Rosberg.

Rosberg beat Hamilton in the previous three races; Hamilton won four before that, and has the momentum as the season nears halfway. Each has the same equipment; the duel is on for the title with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo a further 53 points back.

Rosberg has finished first or second in every race so far in 2013 so Hamilton could win the next four races and still not be in front if the he carries on with such remarkable consistency.


Even with a controversial double points available for the final race in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton simply cannot afford to lose more ground.

John Watson, a British GP winner, commented: "Hamilton needs to win this race, big-time. It's make or break - as important a GP for Lewis as any in his career."

The Mercedes pair will be favourites but may not have it all their own way at a venerable circuit that hosted its first GP in 1948, two years before it opened the first Formula 1 championship in 1950.

Williams, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, swept the front row in qualifying at the 2014 Austria GP on June 22, Red Bull and Ferrari are hoping to be in the mix at a high-speed track that has favoured them in the past.

Massa will be celebrating his 200th GP and former champion team Williams has happy memories of a home circuit that brought the team its first win in 1979 and 100th in 1997.


McLaren's Jenson Button has never stood on the podium after his home race and looks unlikely to rectify that in 2014. His take: "We won't get on the podium at Silverstone, no chance."

The home crowd - more than 300 000 expected over the three days - will still give the 34-year-old a lift on a weekend that will be of special personal significance. It will be his first at Silverstone without his father John - he died in January 2014. Button has launched a 'Pink for Papa' tribute to raise funds for the Henry Surtees Foundation.

The charity was set up by 1964 champion Surtees in memory of Henry Surtees who died in a Formula 2 crash at Brands Hatch in 2009.

Button said: "We're trying to get as many people wearing pink as we can...  I'll be wearing a pink helmet so there will be a lot of pink at Silverstone in support of my old boy."

Button’s father used to wear a 'lucky' pink shirt on race day.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 British GP weekend

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