Belgian GP: Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory

by Steven Clarke August 28, 2017, 0:47
Belgian GP: Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory

After a winless season previous year, the change in aerodynamic regulations has seen Ferrari challenging Mercedes at the front, with Vettel now leading the drivers' championship by 14 points from Lewis Hamilton.

"All the guys from the team are looking forward to the second half of the campaign and this week in Spa will be the first of nine races that conclude the season".

"We discussed briefly once with him (Vettel)", Lauda said.

"The last race is one of the best examples of how great the team is now", Hamilton added.

While the move could potentially be very costly in the context of the Formula 1 world championship where Hamilton trails Vettel by 11 points, for the Briton it epitomised his relationship with his teammate.

Vettel and Hamilton have won four races each this season heading into Sunday's race.

The fast sweeps and long straights of the Spa track play to the strengths of Hamilton's Mercedes but Ferrari appeared to be the team to beat going into qualifying after topping the final practice session.

"I know Seb doesn't want to be my team-mate".

"When I do get asked the Ferrari question it's coming more from fans and media, and not necessarily from Ferrari", he said. "It has never been more than chatting, mostly about other stuff to be honest".

In addition to tying Schumacher's record, Hamilton also set a new lap record with his pole lap. "I've been talking for a while with Ferrari, my intention was to stay".

Vettel's contract was due to end this season and on Thursday he had said he did not expect there to be any announcement in the next two weeks.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen stood at the fourth spot, the Finn having been given a 10-second stop-go penalty for ignoring yellow flags when the luckless Max Verstappen retired his Red Bull with power loss on Lap 8, reports

Bottas arrived at the Formula One champions in January as a replacement for 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, who had stunned the sport by announcing his sudden retirement in December.

Vettel's contract extension is also likely to mean Valtteri Bottas will be handed a new contract to partner Hamilton at Mercedes for 2018.

The 32-year-old added that victory concluded a great weekend's work for him and the Mercedes team.

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