F1: Lewis Hamilton eyes Singapore Grand Prix to make next assault on title - Motor Racing - Sport - The Independent

F1: Lewis Hamilton eyes Singapore Grand Prix to make next assault on title

The Mercedes driver finished third in Spa

Lewis Hamilton believes he will have to wait until Singapore to give himself another slingshot in the Formula One world championship.

After the euphoria of collecting his fourth successive pole position on Saturday, Hamilton was only third in the Belgian Grand Prix behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

It leaves the 28-year-old 58 points adrift of Vettel in the wake of the German's 31st career victory, conceding the gap is "huge", with Alonso 46 behind.

The fastest track on the circuit in Monza is next up and is unlikely to suit Hamilton's Mercedes, but from Singapore onwards in a month's time, the 28-year-old is convinced he will again be strong.

"When we started the weekend I felt we perhaps didn't have as good a package as Red Bull and Ferrari," Hamilton said.

"In qualifying the weather helped us to get up to where we were, and at the end of the day we need to work a little harder.

"We'll go away and see if we can improve for Monza. But definitely when we get to Singapore, we'll have a much better chance there.

"I think we'll be back to being very competitive, or more competitive when we get to Singapore.

"The circuits from there are more twisty and more higher downforce, compared to Spa and Monza which require a specific package, which either works or doesn't, and you are stuck with it.

"So we may improve in the next race or be in the same position. We won't be any worse that's for sure.

"From then onwards we will have the high-downforce package we had in the previous races, but hopefully improved again, so hopefully more competitive from then on."

Hamilton's fate was sealed after 20 seconds of the race when Vettel swept by him along the Kemmel Straight after getting a tow out of Eau Rouge.

When Alonso passed into the La Source hairpin soon after the first round of pit stops, that sealed the top three as Vettel was never troubled at any stage.

The podium ceremony, as before the race, was disrupted by Greenpeace demonstrators protesting at race sponsor Shell's work in the Arctic.

Overall, 35 activists accessed different parts of the circuit, with some on the roof of the main grandstand unfurling a large banner as the race started that read: "ARCTIC OIL? SHELL NO".

In some respects it was one of the few highlights of a race that had promised so much, but on a rare occasion for this event failed to deliver.

Behind the podium trio, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was fourth ahead of Mark Webber in his Red Bull, followed by McLaren's Jenson Button who was sixth for the fourth time this season.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was seventh, with Romain Grosjean eighth in his Lotus ahead of Force India's Adrian Sutil and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo.

Kimi Raikkonen is now 63 points down after his Lotus suffered a brake failure, ending his run of 38 consecutive finishes, with the last 27 of those in the points to set a new F1 record.

Paul Di Resta failed to score for a third successive race after being taken out by Williams' Pastor Maldonado on lap 27, whilst Marussia's Max Chilton was 19th and last of those that finished.

PA

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