Components One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton within the FIA Press Convention FIA/Handout by way of REUTERS
August 26, 2021
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (Reuters) – Seven-times Components One world champion Lewis Hamilton mentioned each he and his Mercedes crew can be in higher form for the second half of the season however the battle with Pink Bull and Max Verstappen can be nearer and more durable than ever.
The Briton has an eight-point lead over his Dutch rival forward of the Belgian Grand Prix, a race that begins the second section and can have loads of vocal Verstappen followers in attendance.
“It’s going to be shut, it’s going to be robust this second half of the season,” mentioned Hamilton, who might take a record-extending one centesimal win on Sunday.
“The primary half was positively one of many hardest and I anticipate it’s going to be just about the identical within the second half, if no more troublesome.”
The 36-year-old mentioned he was excited to get again, had missed working with the crew and being within the automotive and didn’t really feel extra cautious of Verstappen’s problem.
Verstappen has received 5 races to Hamilton’s 4 to date this yr and can be comfortably forward however for collisions and misfortune which have left him with solely 5 factors from the previous two races.
“As we’ve obtained by the season they have stronger and stronger,” mentioned Hamilton, whose crew have received the final seven successive drivers’ and constructors’ world championships.
“It’s been tougher for us as we have now gone on, we had a little bit of a troublesome patch however we obtained again by way of working to how we have now prior to now.
“We now have positively upped our sport… I’ve no doubts that we’ll take one other step ahead in our processes and the way we apply ourselves.”
Hamilton’s well being triggered concern on the earlier race in Hungary when he feared he could be feeling the consequences of ‘lengthy COVID’ after testing constructive for the virus in Bahrain final November.
He was reluctant to disclose private well being info on Thursday however mentioned he had spent the break guaranteeing he was in higher form and it was now not a priority for him.
Hamilton has received 4 instances beforehand at Spa, the longest observe on the calendar and one of many quickest, whereas Verstappen is in search of a primary at what was a house circuit earlier than the Dutch Grand Prix was reinstated.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, enhancing by Pritha Sarkar)