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

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week