London: McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton could be relying on the famously fickle British summer weather to have a real chance of challenging at their home Grand Prix this weekend.
With plenty of experience of driving in the wet, the British pair are hoping the rain that swept across England on Thursday continues for Sunday's Formula One British GP at Silverstone.
Hamilton won the race in 2008 in torrential rain and Button said similar conditions could help McLaren challenge the dominant Red Bull of championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
Defending world champion Vettel won last month's European GP in Valencia for a sixth win from this season's eight races. He also finished second in the others for a 77-point lead over Button.
"We obviously hope we can fight for a win, but you've also got to look at the previous race and the Red Bull is very, very strong," Button said. "If it's mixed conditions or wet, I think it does give us a better opportunity."
"I'm not saying we don't have an opportunity if it's dry but I think it does mix it up a little bit if it's wet. We both enjoy driving in the wet and we're both used to it."
Hamilton showed as much at Silverstone in his championship-winning season.
In just his second season of F1, Hamilton started from fourth following an error but surged into second place at the first corner as other drivers struggled with the water on the track. Well-chosen tires and stellar control of his car took Hamilton to victory, more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival.
"The best Grand Prix I've ever done," Hamilton said. "The pressure we are under from the team, from the sponsors, from all the partners that you have - also from the fans wanting the success - and the conditions: they were some of the worst for a race I've ever done.
"People were slipping off left and right and I don't know how I managed to get around in the way I did."
Hamilton has expressed frustration that, while McLaren is second in the constructors' standings, the team has largely struggled to compete with Red Bull. Media and commentators have speculated that Hamilton could switch teams at the end of the season in search of a better drive.
But Hamilton is expecting an improvement at Silverstone.
"Coming into this weekend, there's been developments and plans that the team has been planning for months," Hamilton said. "There might be an update, for example, that they planned for Germany that they might bring forward."
Button, the 2009 world champion, simply wants a first win on his home circuit.
"As a racing driver, you obviously aim to achieve your main goal, which is to win the world championship," Button said. "Second to that, you want to become a winner at Monaco and a winner of your home Grand Prix."
"That's something I haven't achieved yet."
More rain is forecast for Friday's practice and Saturday's qualifying, but Sunday is currently expected to be drier.
"If the weather's like this, we're going to have one hell of a race at the weekend," Button said. "I'm hoping that this beautiful English summer weather continues."