Mercedes driver Lewis insists this season has been intense and says he's eager to bounce back from a poor run of form at this weekend's British GP
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton takes a selfie during the drivers’ media briefing at Silverstone yesterday. Pic/AFP
Lewis Hamilton found himself in the headlines - and not entirely for the right reasons - heading into the British Grand Prix, where he hopes to revive his title challenge with a fourth straight win on home soil.
The Mercedes driver opted to skip the F1 Live demonstration on Wednesday that saw Formula One cars drive through the heart of London, choosing to escape the rough and tumble of the championship battle with a two-day trip to the Greek island of Mykonos instead.
F1's London parade
It was the first such event organised by Formula One's new owners with the aim of taking the sport closer to fans. All other drivers, including Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel and retired champions Nico Rosberg and Mika Hakkinen, were in attendance.
"Of course people are going to have opinions about it," Hamilton, whose absence was criticised on social media and booed by fans watching live, told reporters at a cool and overcast Silverstone circuit yesterday.
"This is a very intense season, I'm trying to prepare the best way I can for the battle ahead of me. I love this Grand Prix. You get people who have saved up so much through the year to come up to this Grand Prix.
"You will have seen of the previous years how much I appreciate and respect that and try to give and enjoy the weekend with the fans and that doesn't change," Hamilton added.
Hamilton is gunning to bounce back from a run of poor luck that has hindered his championship bid.
He trails Vettel by 20 points in the overall standings, with a loose headrest costing him an almost certain win in Baku.
Some may have taken his absence at the London event as a snub. But Hamilton, the most successful British driver with 56 wins, can still draw inspiration from the support of the 350,000 fans expected to turn out over the weekend and his strong past form at Silverstone to turn the tide.
Clark's record for the taking
The triple champion has won the race four times, three of those wins coming in the last three years. Victory this weekend will see him match the legendary Jim Clark's record of four successive home wins and five overall.
Vettel, who was narrowly beaten to victory in Austria by Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, will be keen to end that run and add a second win to his sole Silverstone triumph in 2009. Victory for the German on Sunday will also hand Ferrari their first at the track since Fernando Alonso took victory for the Italian marque in 2011.
Red Bull could also get in the mix. Daniel Ricciardo, winner of the chaotic race in Baku, scored his fifth consecutive podium in Austria. A major upgrade this weekend could lift the former champions into the lead battle.
The dazzling persona of a champion -- the 'Dauntless Dhoni'!
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