Belgian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says he welcomes the strain of his intense title combat with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The Mercedes driver is 24 factors forward of the German because the Components 1 season restarts this weekend in Belgium.
There are 9 races of the season left as Hamilton goals for his fifth title.
“I am unable to let you know how Sebastian feels with the strain. I can solely let you know the strain on me. It is as nice as it may be. However I would not need it some other means,” he mentioned.
“As people, strain leads us to attempt to do extraordinary issues, to evolve, to push the envelope, to be higher in all areas.”
Hamilton gained the final two races in Hungary and Germany in opposition to the run of kind and he says Mercedes must capitalise on the following two races in Belgium and Italy earlier than the race in Singapore in mid-September, the place they’ve historically finished poorly.
“Now we have had two nice outcomes which have been lucky for us,” he mentioned. “I take a look at these subsequent two high-speed circuits and we have to hammer exhausting to return away with nice factors earlier than Singapore, the place we wrestle.
“I do not understand how we’re going to fare round a few of these different circuits and these two I really feel like we have now a greater probability in comparison with the final two races and we want to verify we ship what we did the final race and capitalise on the positives.”
However he mentioned he anticipated a detailed combat with Ferrari on the traditional Spa-Francorchamps observe, the place he narrowly beat Vettel final yr.
“In the event you noticed final yr how shut it was final yr between us and Ferrari, this yr they appear to have fairly a giant step-up in energy,” the Briton mentioned.
“This can be a energy circuit and I do not understand how we are going to fare in comparison with them power-wise, however automobile performance-wise I feel we can be shut.”
Hamilton mentioned he believed Mercedes had finished a greater job than Ferrari over the primary a part of the season.
“Possibly we weren’t the most effective in all parts however we did a stable job to return away with the factors we did,” he mentioned.
“We all know the areas we have to enhance however we all know we have now issues to return.
“The second half is thrilling. You do not know what’s going to occur however what usually occurs is you go from energy to energy via the nice and the unhealthy, and we have now numerous positives to take into the second half of the season and there may be extra juice to return.”
Each groups are anticipated to have upgraded engines this weekend, though this has not been formally confirmed.
Hamilton mentioned he was wanting ahead to the problem of the high-speed sweeps of the well-known observe, particularly the downhill double left-hander referred to as Pouhon.
“It’s nonetheless an amazing observe to drive and it’s thrilling to assume that this yr Pouhon is likely to be flat, which is superior,” he mentioned.
“Your creativeness of how that is likely to be, instances it by 1,00zero and you continue to most likely would not be there.”
Vettel mentioned: “The important thing can be to be quick, to have the velocity. Factors-wise we’re slightly bit behind however I do not assume it’s one thing we can’t do. For myself, it has been wanting worse in previous years however we nonetheless managed to show it round by having the velocity.
“Our automobile has been fairly sturdy on circuits which might be much like right here however the important thing can be to be quick in all places and that is what we attempt to do. Now we have some new bits for this weekend and we see how we get on.”
Vettel, additionally in search of a fifth world title, performed down the importance of the factors he has misplaced by crashing out of the lead in Germany two races in the past, and a first-corner collision with Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas in France.
“We had races the place we have been stronger and did not win, and we had races the place they have been stronger and did not win for one motive or one other,” Vettel mentioned.
“On this regard it has been pretty equal. Simply earlier than the summer season began, Mercedes have been stronger than everybody however earlier than the break we have been in a position to catch them once more. In Hungary we have been slightly bit forward in dry circumstances. The hot button is for it to be shut in direction of the top.”
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|Belgian Grand Prix protection particulars|
|Date||Session||Time||Radio protection||On-line textual content commentary|
|Thursday, 23 August||Preview & podcast||20:00-21:00||BBC Radio 5 reside|
|Friday, 24 August||First observe||09:55-11:35||BBC Radio 5 reside sports activities additional||From 09:30|
|Second observe||13:55-15:35||BBC Sport on-line||From 13:30|
|Saturday, 25 August||Third observe||10:55-12:05||BBC Radio 5 reside sports activities additional||From 10:30 (steady)|
|Qualifying||13:55-15:05||BBC Sport on-line|
|Podcast||5 reside on-line|
|Sunday, 26 August||Race||14:10-16:00||BBC Radio 5 reside||From 12:30|
|Assessment podcast||5 reside on-line|