Hamilton targeting hat-trick of British GP wins at Silverstone

HAPPY MEMORIES - Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2008 British GP at Silverstone
HAPPY MEMORIES - Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2008 British GP at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton has targeted total domination of this weekend’s British Grand Prix as he bids for a hat-trick of victories in front of his expectant home crowd.

The reigning world champion, who holds a 10-point lead over team-mate in the Brackley-based Mercedes team Nico Rosberg heading into Sunday’s ninth round of the season at Silverstone, won last year’s race after starting from sixth.

He also triumphed in 2008, this time from fourth on the grid, as he turned in one of the most emphatic displays by a British driver in recent times, blitzing his competitors in the rain-hit race.

Hamilton, who will emulate his great hero Ayrton Senna should he go on to claim a third world title, has never completed a perfect weekend - that of pole position, win and fastest lap - at Silverstone.

But the 30-year-old, who has started from pole in seven of the eight races this year, is keen for that to change this weekend.

“I might have seven chances at the British Grand Prix left - it seems like a lot, but it isn’t,” said Hamilton ahead of his ninth Silverstone outing.

“They are very precious opportunities, each and every single one of them, so when you lose out on one, the feeling to come back and do it again the following year is even greater.

“I won last year but I didn’t get pole, so it wasn’t a perfect weekend. I don’t know whether I have had a weekend where I have really dominated it. And I think this year that has really been the target - dominating weekends and really conquering the circuit, through practice, qualifying and the race.”

Hamilton will be roared on by the best part of 140,000 fans on Sunday with Silverstone chiefs anticipating a record crowd to descend on the sleepy Northants village.

“I always find it surprising and it is difficult to know how much support you have - it is not until you go to that grand prix that you see it,” added Hamilton, who has been crowned champion in each of the years he has won at Silverstone.

“Just when you don’t think it can get any bigger, the following year it has grown. It is huge and I hope that I can go there and make people proud.”

Last time out in Austria, Hamilton claimed the 78th podium of his career after he finished second to team-mate Rosberg.

It means Hamilton has now celebrated a top-three finish in 50 per cent of the 156 grands prix he has started - a remarkable statistic, and one that cannot be matched by any other British driver in the sport’s history.

Hamilton however, was highly critical of the trophy he was presented with after winning last year’s British Grand Prix.

And the two-time world champion revealed he is still irked by, what he describes as the “terrible” silverware handed out to the podium finishers in motor racing’s elite category.

“Last year they gave me this plastic thing and I’m like, ‘this is not the trophy, it’s like a GP2 trophy not the Formula One trophy’. The gold one they use to present is really special, and it would be great if each country had a real trophy like that with character that grew over the years because of the history.

“The last one in Austria was wooden, and the base was like lead - I mean what? It is supposed to be silver. We just need to make better trophies. It is shocking how bad the trophies are.

“At the beginning of my Formula One career they were really good, but now they are just terrible, man. They are so bad.”