Formula 1

Hamilton: British Grand Prix a true test of Mercedes tyre wear

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Lewis Hamilton believes the British Grand Prix will be the ultimate test of Mercedes' tyre woes.

The Brackley-based team have struggled badly with tyre degradation over the course of the season so far - a problem no more noticeable than at the Spanish Grand Prix where Hamilton qualified in second place behind team-mate Nico Rosberg, only for both drivers to fall back to 12th and 6th respectively in the race.

There have been improved performances in the last two races, with Rosberg winning the Monaco Grand Prix in May and Hamilton bagging a podium finish at the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month - amidst the 'Testgate' controversy.

The high-speed corners at Silverstone will provide a stern test of how hard on their tyres the Mercedes cars actually are, something Hamilton is all to aware of.

"We took a lot from the race in Barcelona," Hamilton told Autosport.

"The team came back and it had a lot of work to do to understand what went wrong.

"Then we went to a couple of tracks that didn't seem to be too difficult on tyres, so I think [Silverstone] will be a really good test to determine how we've done.

"We will find out if it is the high-speed corners that are giving us the trouble, and that will really pinpoint the issues.

"But between each corner here, you do have a good straight afterwards so hopefully cooling down of the tyres will happen. Maybe we won't be in such a bad place."

Despite the cause for cautious optimism following recent good results in Monaco and Canada, Hamilton concedes that his new team are yet to nail down the exact problem with tyre wear.

Red Bull , Ferrari and Lotus, who are relatively easy on their tyres, are expected to be the pace-setters this weekend, and Hamilton says that while progress has been made, Mercedes remain a step back from their main rivals on race days.

"I think we've made some small steps just with tyre cooling and brake cooling," he said.

"It's still an unknown. I definitely feel that we'll be competitive throughout the weekend but I don't know where all the time is being lost on Sunday.

"The car feels great generally throughout the weekend. It's just their [Ferrari and Red Bull] car is feeling even better on a Sunday."

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Formula 1

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