Lewis Hamilton believes this weekend represents his best chance of winning a second British Grand Prix in several years. 

The 28-year-old Mercedes driver, who claimed his only previous victory at Silverstone en route to the 2008 World Championship, finished eighth in the race last year when driving for former team McLaren.

Hamilton admitted that his car's race pace at Silverstone was "still an unknown", but expressed his confidence that he will be able to produce at his home race. 

Hamilton told BBC Sport: "I definitely think I'll be closer than I have been for the last couple of years.

"I am looking forward to seeing what the car can do. I think the car will go really well."

Hamilton has been on the podium three times in seven races so far this year, but has yet to finish higher than third place. With 77 points he sits in fourth place in the World Championship table, 55 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel.  

Unsurprisingly, the Stevenage-born driver believes that Vettel, his Red Bull team, and Ferrari will continue to be strong rivals come race day. 

"For some reason the Red Bulls and Ferrari's seem to have 0.3-0.5 seconds over us on long-run pace. I don't know why that is.

"I definitely feel we'll be competitive throughout the weekend but I don't know where the time is being lost on Sunday." 

Mercedes' tendency to wear out its tyres too quickly in a race is likely to be a crucial factor in Hamilton's chances. His team have been on pole four times this season, but have only managed one win - Nico Rosberg in Monaco, a venue where overtaking is notoriously difficult. 

But the 21-time F1 Grand Prix race winner went onto express his excitement and anticipation about racing at Silverstone, citing the improvements Mercedes have made to their car since the last race in Canada three weeks ago.

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

"I am massively excited about it, and really looking forward to it. It's been a bit of a long break since the last race, but the build-up to this one is always the most exciting. 

"It's generally the busiest but it's also just great to be here and looking forward to seeing the turnout of fans that we have this weekend." 

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