Lewis Hamilton is under no allusions that his home grand prix at Silverstone in a fortnight will be another difficult race as he continues to struggle with uncompetitive machinery.
The McLaren driver endured another miserable weekend in Turkey with thirteenth place the best he could muster after getting knocked out in the opening round of qualifying.
And with the flowing high speed corners of Silverstone unlikely to be any kinder on the McLaren MP4-24 and its aerodynamic deficiencies, Hamilton knows his chances of repeating the success he enjoyed last year – when he dominated the race in the wet – are slim.
“We fully expect next weekend to be very difficult. Firstly, Silverstone is one of the fastest courses on the calendar and it’s clear that our car doesn’t behave well through fast corners,” he told his official website.
“It’s also harder to harvest KERS there than at other circuits because there’s not too many heavy braking spots – to give you an idea, we don’t touch the brakes from the exit of Luffield right down to Stowe – about half the circuit – and there are no slow exits followed by long straights where you can use KERS for a boost.”
“It will be difficult, but I’m looking forward to just racing in my home country, in front of my home fans, and soaking it all in.”
One year on from his sensational victory in the wet in front of his home crowd, Hamilton admits he is in a “character-building” phase of his career after a disappointing start to the season for McLaren – largely as a result of other teams being able to take advantage of the new regulations better.
“It’s true that this year is my first difficult year of Formula 1, but it is not the first time in my career that I’ve had difficult and tough years,” he added.
“I’ve gone through difficult stages of karting and junior formulae as well, and I’ve also been very lucky throughout my career to have been in many top teams and driven some great cars.”
“It is character-building, you have some good years, and you have some bad years, but as long as you learn from both the good and the bad then you come out a stronger person.
“With each day, I think I’m becoming a better person and a better driver because of it though. I’ve been through some fantastic times with the team and I’m sure we’ll get back there soon.
“In the meantime, it will take discipline, determination and hard work to get back to the front. We might not do it this year, and we expect Silverstone to be a tough race for our car package, but it will come.”