F1: Lewis Hamilton eager to build on success and challenge for title

The Mercedes driver is preparing for the Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton is itching to get back into action this weekend in a bid to build on his success in Hungary and mount a Formula One title charge over the second half of the campaign.

Four weeks ago, Hamilton breathed life into his championship challenge by finally clinching his first victory for Mercedes this season and the fourth of his career around the Hungaroring.

Following the sport's near month-long summer break, Hamilton heads into this weekend's return in Belgium trailing leader and reigning three-times champion Sebastian Vettel by 48 points.

While the 28-year-old has been pursuing his other passion of music during the holiday period - posting a number of images on Twitter of himself in a recording studio - he is now eager to hit the track.

"It feels like I have been out of the car for a very long time since the win in Hungary and I can't wait to get going again," said Hamilton.

"I was at the factory (in Brackley) on Tuesday to meet up with my engineers and get in some practice on the simulator.

"It was nice to see everyone and to feel the enthusiasm around the factory after the summer break.

"We're all looking forward to the second half of the season and the opportunity to bring home some more good results."

With three successive poles to his name - the first British driver to achieve the feat since Damon Hill in his title-winning year of 1996 - and with Mercedes appearing to have cured their previous tyre woes, there is every prospect of Hamilton scoring back-to-back wins.

Motor sport director Toto Wolff recognises his team will be in the sights of their rivals after claiming seven of the last eight poles and three of the last five wins, but there is a natural desire for more.

"Our first half of the season exceeded expectations, but we will continue to work hard and to improve performance further in the second half," said Wolff.

"On paper, Spa is a circuit that should suit our car and Nico (Rosberg) and Lewis will be at their best on a real driver's circuit.

"We have a strong all-round package at the moment and good momentum after our win in Hungary.

"However, everybody will bring a special low-drag package for this circuit so we won't know who has found the best compromise before we start running on Friday.

"We cannot take anything for granted in terms of performance and Spa is always a demanding circuit for reliability.

"The key will be to do our homework well in practice in order to achieve a strong race result for the team."

With nine grands prix spread across the world and crammed into 14 weekends, the second half of the campaign is obviously hectic and exhausting.

That puts a lot of strain on the organisation, but team principal Ross Brawn feels a strong start has been made in their preparations as they seek to emulate their feats from the first 10 races.

"After a well-deserved summer break, the factory has been a hive of activity this week as we prepare for the Belgian Grand Prix and the start of the second half of the Formula One season," said Brawn.

"There has been a lot of work to achieve in a very short time to make sure we are ready for the weekend and everyone has been working hard.

"Both Nico and Lewis have been in the factory with us this week to start our preparations on the simulator and both are raring to get back into the car again.

"We finished the first half of the season on a high, and will be aiming for an equally strong second half."

 



PA

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil