German Grand Prix: Hamilton to bounce back in Germany
Lewis Hamilton heads to Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix hoping to get his title defence back on track after a couple of disappointing races left him eight points behind leader Sebastian Vettel.
After seven months of negotiations Hamilton finally resolved his future on Thursday by signing a two-year contract extension with Mercedes reportedly worth up to £40million a year which would make him the best-paid driver in Formula One history.
The 33-year-old from Stevenage said: "I have been part of the Mercedes racing family for 20 years and I have never been happier inside a team than I am right now.
"We are on the same wavelength both on and off track - and I am looking forward to winning more in the future and shining even more light on the three-pointed star. I'm very confident that Mercedes is the right place to be over the coming years."
Hamilton may be in a good place professionally and financially, but his grip on the tile race loosened this month, losing the world championship lead after a loss of fuel pressure forced him to retire in Austria.
A week later in an action-packed home Grand Prix a collision with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen meant Hamilton had to fight back from last to finish second at Silverstone.
The German Grand Prix holds good memories for Hamilton who won the last time it was staged at Hockenheim two years ago and in 2014 Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag for Mercedes at the same track.
Hamilton finished second behind the Red Bulls in both practice sessions, the first of which saw Daniel Ricciardo top the timesheets by just 0.004sec.
However, the Australian must start Sunday's race from the back of the grid following a series of grid penalties for using too many engine parts.
Max Verstappen then edged out Hamilton in the afternoon by just three hundredths of a second although the Dutchman lost the best part of 30 minutes with an engine problem as he completed just 16 laps - the fewest of the session.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits that his team have been making too many errors but now that the futures of both Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas have been settled, we're expecting a decent weekend for the German team, who are going for a hat-trick of wins at their home track.
Hamilton was quick in P1 and he is also chasing a record-equalling fourth victory in Germany, while main rival Vettel has never won at Hockenheim.
The only tip in our German Grand Prix betting preview is for Lewis Hamilton to win at 11/8.