July 07, 2016

SILVERSTONE, England (AP) Defending champion Lewis Hamilton will be seeking to complete a hat-trick of successive home wins to take command of this year's Formula One title race for the first time in Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old Englishman, who survived a last-lap crash with his Mercedes team-mate and current championship leader Nico Rosberg in last Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, trails the German by 11 points ahead of this weekend's showdown.

The three-time champion said Thursday that he hopes the support of his home crowd can help him as he aims to become the most successful British driver in Grands Prix held at the Silverstone circuit.

''Is that true?'' he said, when it was put to him. ''Nigel (Mansell) has four. one at Brands Hatch. Ah, I see. No pressure then.

''I didn't know that, but it doesn't change anything going into the weekend. As Jenson (Button) said, it's a great thing to arrive here and have the incredible support that we have.

''We've definitely got the best following of fans here and the Brits turn out regardless of the weather - they turn out in their thousands and it's a very proud experience being here.

Hamilton and Rosberg have been told that they risk being ordered how to drive by their teams if they collide again.

The teammates crashed on the final lap in a dramatic end to the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend. The incident happened when Hamilton was chasing race leader Rosberg and trying to find enough room to pass him.

Rosberg refused to give any ground and the crash cost him valuable points, as Hamilton took his third win of the season and Rosberg finished fourth.

Hamilton said he did not feel he and Rosberg had turned the championship into a two horse race.

''I don't think so at all,'' he said. ''It's the same as it's been since the beginning. It's still a fight. I think Ferrari are still there - Sebastian (Vettel) had had a couple of unfortunate races, but they are still a force to reckon with.''

This weekend's race is the 10th in a 21-race season and is expected to see both Ferrari and Red Bull mount challenges to the dominant Mercedes team at the sweeping old circuit, once a wartime airfield, in central England.

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