Lewis Hamilton feels victory in this year's Formula One world title fight could boil down to the fewest number of retirements between himself and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Prior to the recent British Grand Prix, Hamilton's two failures in the season-opening race in Australia, and again in Canada, had proven extremely costly for the 29-year-old.

But Hamilton bounced back into contention at Silverstone by taking a vital victory in front of his home crowd whereas Rosberg retired for the first time with a gearbox issue.

Aside from those three setbacks for the duo, they have claimed top-two places in every other race, suggesting reliability will be vital in the race for the title.

"It's definitely going to be a key part of it, especially later on in the season when we have to eke out our engines and gearboxes for such a long period of time," said Hamilton.

"You never know when something is going to go wrong, so I really hope we can rectify whatever issues we have.

"But you can't have everything - best car, best pace, greatest speed at the end of the straight - and not have any problems. Things are on the limit."

It is a fact Rosberg also readily accepts given Mercedes' level of domination this season, and now the 29-year-old can only hope what occurred in Hamilton's backyard was a one off as he heads into his own home race in Germany this weekend.

"Things were going well at Silverstone up until the problem happened so I just accept it as a reliability thing and go for the next one at Hockenheim," said Rosberg.

"We're confident we have a good understanding of all of the issues that are on the car - the small issues - and are working on them.

"So am I concerned? No. But of course things are not 100 per cent as we saw at Silverstone."

Despite what occurred in that race, the positive for Rosberg is he still holds the advantage in the championship going to Germany, even if it has been trimmed to just four points.

"After what happened in the last race it was difficult to immediately find many good feelings," added Rosberg.

"But yes, there is the fact I am in the lead of the championship going in to my home race and that's a good thing.

"I've always had good support from the German spectators. They're really enthusiastic.

"It's almost become a tradition to take the family on a camping weekend for this race, so I'm looking forward to gunning for a good result in front of the crowds."