Silverstone celebrates its 50th grand prix this weekend with all eyes on Lewis Hamilton as the home favourite with a real chance of winning a race he cannot afford to lose.

It has been six years since he won at home in Britain and the Mercedes driver needs a change of fortune more than ever as he seeks to cut teammate Nico Rosberg's 29 point lead in the championship.

"I'm definitely gunning for Silverstone," the 2008 world champion told reporters ahead of the ninth round of the season. "Last year, I was more hopeful than ever... that weekend it was definitely gutting not to win, to not bring it home for the country and for the fans. We have another chance this year and I'll be doing absolutely everything to make sure we're in front."

Hamilton won in 2008 and qualified on pole position last year but an exploding tyre, a feature of the race that forced Pirelli to make changes, wrecked his chance and handed victory to Rosberg instead.

Rosberg has beaten Hamilton in the last three races, after the Briton won four in a row, and has the momentum as the season nears the halfway point.

The two men have the same equipment and are in a duel of their own for the title, with Red Bull's Australian Daniel Ricciardo a further 53 points adrift of Hamilton, that looks destined for one of them.

Rosberg has finished first or second in every race this season, which means that Hamilton could win the next four races and still not be in front if the German carries on his remarkable consistency.

Source: Reuters