Hamilton expects Rosberg to feel World Cup boost
HOCKENHEIM Germany (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton hopes to tap into some of Germany's World Cup euphoria at Mercedes' home Formula One race this weekend even if championship-leading team mate Nico Rosberg gets a bigger boost.
"For every driver, when you go to your home country I think naturally you will get that extra boost," the Briton, who won in front of his home crowd at Silverstone two weeks ago, told reporters on Thursday.
"I think Nico will have that extra boost perhaps more this weekend because they've just won, they have the World Cup, so I think Germany is running on a serious high," added the 2008 champion.
Mercedes are sponsors of the German team who won the cup in Brazil last weekend, their fourth championship and first as a unified nation, and most of the fans thronging the campsite and forests around Hockenheim are already in party mood.
Mercedes have their own grandstand at Hockenheim and the paddock motorhome has 'The Best' written in large letters on the front.
Rosberg, who leads Hamilton in the championship by four points at the halfway stage, has everything going for him at the moment.
He has celebrated his 29th birthday, got married last week and signed a new multi-year contract with Mercedes on Monday.
Victory at Hockenheim would make him the first German to do so for Mercedes in his home race since 1939 and would also make amends for the costly retirement at Silverstone that saw his lead slashed from 29 points.
Hamilton, who jokingly questioned after Silverstone whether Hockenheim would really be a home race for Monaco resident Rosberg, hoped that some of the German glow would at least reflect on Mercedes as a team.
On that, Rosberg, who will be racing with a special helmet bearing the colors of the German flag and with four stars for each world championship won by a German team, was also in agreement.
"The effort of the team as a whole, how they all played together and everything was really great to see and that’s what won them the tournament I think, not any individual strength or anything," he said of Germany at the World Cup.
"That’s what we’re trying to do as well, to really work well, everybody together, to really make the most of it.
"I think we’re also on the right track with that...because to dominate the sport as we are doing at the moment, I think that indicates we work pretty well together as a team," added the German.
Mercedes have won eight of the nine races so far - Hamilton five to Rosberg's three.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Stephen Wood)