Lewis Hamilton believes he will have a tough time fending off both Red Bulls to win the British Grand Prix this afternoon.
The Mercedes driver put in a stunningly quick lap in qualifying to claim pole position in his home race, ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in 3rd and 4th.
So far this season the Brackley-based team have shown they have excellent one-lap pace in qualifying but have been unable to replicate that on race day due to an issue with tyre degradation - a problem which could potentially be exacerbated by the warm weather expected for Sunday's race.
Red Bull on the other hand should thrive on Silverstone's high-speed corners and have been much kinder on their tyres on race day - and Hamilton concedes that keeping both Webber and Vettel at bay for 52 laps may prove to be too difficult.
"Undoubtedly it's going to be tough to keep Sebastian behind us," the 2008 champion said. "But our long-run pace wasn't as bad as we've seen in the past, so I'm hoping with the temperatures and a bit of care we can nurture the tyres to get a good result.
"I'm going to be pushing, giving my all, as I'm sure Nico will, to finish up ahead."
Mercedes struggled badly at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona earlier in the season on a high-speed track similar to Silverstone. Rosberg and Hamilton locked out the front row in qualifying but fell back to 6th and 12th respectively as they struggled to control tyre wear.
"We're not even certain we can stay ahead of the Red Bulls so what's the point of even thinking about [winning]?" he said when asked about a possible victory in his home race.
"We're just going to put as much positive energy as we can towards it and we'll do the best job we can."
Rosberg was more upbeat when asked about his chances of beating the Red Bulls, and says that steps have been made following Spain which should put them in contention for the win.
"It's not difficult to do better than the Spanish Grand prix so we are definitely looking better than that," said the German, who claimed Mercedes only win this season in Monaco.
"We have made changes to the car all along, trying to understand it better but it's very complex.
"But for sure there are other teams doing a better job on Sundays, notably probably the Red Bulls who are just behind us.
"But we had decent runs on Friday with the high fuel so it should be possible to do a good result but how good I don't know yet."
Team principal Ross Brawn had the final say on Mercedes tyre issue and struck a note of caution, saying he was 'not confident" the team had got to the bottom of the problem.
"We have made a lot a modifications to the car and we'll see the effect of those modifications," he revealed.
"You don't know until you get into a race how effective they've been. We need to take a step back and see how we can approach the car differently. We have some different things on the car this weekend and let's see how they work out."
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