SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium: Seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton said that both he and his Mercedes team would be in better shape for the second half of the season, but the battle with Red Bull and Max Verstappen would Be closer and tougher than ever.
The Briton has an eight point lead over his Dutch rival ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, a race that begins the second phase and will be attended by many loud Verstappen fans .
« It will be close, it will be tough in this second half of the season, » said Hamilton, who could claim a record 100th win on Sunday.
« The first half was definitely one of the toughest and I’m walking away out that it will be similar, if not more difficult, in the second half. «
The 36-year-old said he was excited to come back, had missed working with the team and driving, and was facing Verstappen’s challenge not more suspicious.
Verstappen has won five of Hamilton’s four races so far this year and without the collisions and misfortunes that only earned him five points from the last two races, he would comfortably be ahead.
« In the course of the It’s been getting stronger and stronger this season, « said Hamilton, whose team has won the last seven drivers ‘and constructors’ championships in a row.
» It’s been more difficult for us over time, we had a bit of a difficult patch, but we are returned to what we did in the past in terms of operations.
« We’ve definitely improved our game … I have no doubt that we are in our processes and our way of doing things dedicate ourselves to take another step forward. «
Hamilton’s health caused concern at the last race in Hungary as he feared he was feeling the effects of » long COVID « after looking positive in Bahrain last November f the virus had been tested.
He was reluctant to reveal personal health information on Thursday but said he spent the break making sure he was in better shape and was no longer a problem > Hamilton has previously won four times at Spa, the longest track on the calendar and one of the fastest, while Verstappen is aiming for a premiere on a home track before the Dutch Grand Prix resumes.
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