McLaren expect return to form if rain holds off

Nuerburgring: McLaren hope the return to pre-Silverstone engine regulations at Sunday`s German Grand Prix will give their season the jolt it needs but want the rainy weather to stay away despite Lewis Hamilton being a master in the wet.

Hamilton raced to fourth from 10th at the drizzly British Grand Prix last time out while team mate Jenson Button had to retire with a wheel nut missing on his car.

Their pace was also hit by a one-off change to rules governing the aerodynamic advantage from exhaust gases but the previous directives will be in force at the Nuerburgring.

"With the regulation changes, I feel there will be positives," Hamilton, 95 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel, told reporters as he looked back at Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso winning at Silverstone.

"I don`t think they will be as quick as the last race."

Hailstones hit the German track on Thursday and the forecast is patchy.

"I would like it dry, but I quite like changing conditions," Hamilton said at the team motorhome.

Button, who went to the McLaren factory last week to share a joke with the apologetic mechanics who lost his wheel nut, was much more forthright.

"Sort the weather out though, it`s rubbish. I don`t like it wet," the 2009 world champion said, sporting a badge reading "Love the `Ring."

"Having (the old rules) back should help us but I don`t think we are scared of anyone this weekend. I`m sure the change helped Ferrari. They were suddenly so much faster. Qualifying might still be difficult but our race pace will be pretty good."

The Briton slipped from second in the standings to fifth after Silverstone although he is still level with Hamilton.

"It`s amazing how much difference one non-finish makes though," he said before defending team boss Martin Whitmarsh amid rumours his position was under threat.

"A lot of stuff written about Martin is crazy. He is doing a great job. I`m very close to him and happy with the way things are going."

Bureau Report

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