Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m happy to be back in the car again”

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Lewis Hamilton - Belgian Grand Prix - F1
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lewis Hamilton was happy to be back in his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport after the summer break in free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.

The British driver finished third in the morning session before improving to second place in Free Practice 2.

The defending champion leads the standings by 24 points from Sebastian Vettel and admitted he did start to miss driving during the break.

“It’s good to be back,” said Hamilton.  “The break is never really long enough, but there is a point when you start to miss driving, so I’m happy to be back in the car again.”

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is a favourite amongst the drivers and Hamilton was enjoying the challenge on Friday.

“These are the fastest F1 cars we’ve ever had, and you really feel it at this track,” said the reigning World Champion.  “You go almost flat through Pouhon – it’s crazy.

“We’ve brought a new engine today and everything was running smoothly.”

The title race between Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari is very close and there was not much to separate them on the timing screens in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.

“It’s really close between us and Ferrari; it seems like we’ve both been bringing new updates at a similar rate,” said Hamilton.  “For the middle sector, you want to have a good amount of downforce, but you want less in the other sectors to gain speed down the straights.

“The challenge is to find the right balance and thankfully I have a great team working on that.”

Spa has thrown up some crazy races in the past and with rain forecasted for Saturday and Sunday, it could throw up another surprise result, but Hamilton is hoping for a dry weekend.

“Coming into the weekend I heard that it was going to be raining all weekend,” said Hamilton.  “There were some spits of rain on certain parts of the track in FP1, but in FP2 it was nice and dry.

“I hope it stays that way as this track is just awesome to drive in the dry.”

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