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Standings Lewis Hamilton tops Friday practice for F1 Belgian Grand Prix
Standings Lewis Hamilton tops Friday practice for F1 Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton goes through practice on Friday at Spa-Francorchamps.

August 25, 2017

Lewis Hamilton toped the Friday afternoon practice session for Mercedes ahead of Sundays' Formula 1Belgian Grand Prix, but he is wary of the threat posed by Ferrari in what he calls a must-win race.

Coming into the weekend, Hamilton has just one podium finish -- a victory in the British Grand Prix -- over the last four races. During the same stretch, rivalSebastian Vettel pulled out a 14-point leadin the standings, something Hamilton is keen to address straight away.

“I wanted to come back from the break and hit the ground running, which I have today, and I want make sure I transfer that into 25 points on Sunday and 25 points at Monza a week later,” Hamilton said, alluding to the 25 points that are awarded to the winner. “It’s really important that I get these two wins, important for me personally, to really reinstate my fight for the championship.

“It’s hard to do because Ferrari was very fast on the long runs today, and they seem as fast on the shorter runs, but it will be interesting to see where they stand in qualifying Saturday.”Ferrari has struggled before on race-weekend Friday sessions only to come out strong for qualifying and the race. Hamilton is aware that this is usually because Ferrari tends to run in a slightly lower engine mode, preserving some life in their power units to protect them from grid penalties.

Vettel ended Friday in seventh, saying that he had not done a good enough job. Hamilton, however, remained cautious and expects Ferrari to be right on the money come race day.“I think Ferrari never show their hand on a Friday. They are always generally a bit slower and then on generally the next day they turn their engine up. I think today they looked quick and they were only a tenth or two off in P2 and they were faster on the long run.”

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