Hamilton bids for fifth win in a row as heat is on for mechanics
Lewis Hamilton has warned that boiling temperatures in Austria could expose his mechanics to possible heat exhaustion.
Hamilton's crew will work up to 16 hours today preparing the Briton's car for practice and the remainder of the grand prix weekend as the mercury edges towards 40 degrees. There will be no air conditioning in the garage.
Mercedes have taken steps to ensure their staff are well looked after, with a team doctor and physio overseeing hydration by replenishing electrolytes and providing cold towels.
The thin air will also provide another problem, with the track here in the Styrian Mountains situated 700 metres above sea level.
"It is going to be a problem for the mechanics because they will be on their feet in the garage," said Hamilton, reflecting on the unusually high temperatures.
"It is going to be really tough for them."
Hamilton is bidding to win for a fifth straight race, after charging to victory at the French Grand Prix a week ago.
The Briton is 36 points clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the championship standings as he closes in on a sixth world title.
Meanwhile, fellow driver Max Verstappen has backed Hamilton's call for the sport's owners, Liberty Media, to strike a new deal with Silverstone.
The British Grand Prix on July 14 is due to be the last staged unless a fresh agreement is reached.
A race in London has emerged as a contender, but Verstappen said: "Silverstone is a great track. If they want a street track in London, it would need to be an extra grand prix on the schedule."