Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton vows to regroup and deny rival Rosberg home glory

By Phillip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton believes he needs to get his "act together" in today's qualifying session in order to prevent Nico Rosberg from claiming pole position for tomorrow's German Grand Prix.

Hamilton will head into the Hockenheim race in charge of the championship for the first time this season following his victory in Hungary.

But the defending champion, who has won five of the last six races, was slower than home favourite Rosberg in both practice sessions yesterday. Indeed, Rosberg was comfortably quicker than Hamilton, with his best lap of one minute and 15.614 seconds in the second session nearly four tenths faster than that of his Mercedes team-mate.

"I hope I can get my act together," said Hamilton. "It was just not a great lap, so I am not particularly worried. FP2 didn't feel very good. It got worse and worse with some balance issues, but I will rectify it.

"Overnight we should be in a good position, and tomorrow it should be close as Nico is pretty quick here. He is feeling quite confident and calm in the car."

Rosberg, the winner of the opening four races, is now on the back foot in his pursuit of a first championship after seeing his healthy 43-point lead turn into a six-point deficit.

But Hamilton, for whom the early part of his championship defence was blighted by a number of technical problems, insists he has not changed his approach.

"I've been driving exactly the same, but just not had any gearbox failure or engine problems,'' Hamilton added. "I am very much a believer in waves, and I've finally got on a good wave. Hopefully the wave continues.''

Formula One is back in Germany after a one-year absence, and it was here in Hockenheim where seven-time World champion Michael Schumacher, who is still receiving treatment at home following his serious skiing accident in December 2013, triumphed on four occasions.

His son Mick, 17, currently competing in the Italian Formula Four championship, was among the VIP guests in Hamilton's Mercedes garage yesterday.

"I introduced myself," Hamilton added. "He is probably thinking I can beat them just like I did when I was his age."

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was the best of the rest, finishing in third. The Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who is celebrating his 100th grand prix start, were fourth and fifth respectively.

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