Having started his 200th grand prix on the right note with a P1 in Friday’s practice, Lewis Hamilton has made it clear that he is “here to win”.
The British racer topped the timesheets on Friday afternoon at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, clocking a 1:44.753 on the ultrasoft tyres before the rain came down.
That put him 0.262s ahead of a Ferrari, however, that was Kimi Raikkonen and not Sebastian Vettel. The German’s best was only good enough for fourth place as he was half a second down.
It is, however, Vettel who holds the lead in the Drivers’ Championship by 14 points ahead of Hamilton.
The Mercedes driver, though, is determined to wrestle the advantage away from his title rival.
“I’m hoping we will be stronger than them – that has been our goal,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“We know what’s happening with our car and know where it can be better but we don’t want to big it up or downplay it. We’ll let them do their talking outside while we’re here to deliver some very special performances.
“Every day I wake up and the goal is to lead the championship and stay in the lead. Coming into the second half of the season, unreliability is something that every single individual in the team is working hard to make sure it doesn’t come into play for us.
“From my side, I want to be even more consistent than I have been already this season. I want to be performing at the top level.
“Ferrari’s consistency is going to be important. It’s clear that there are certain tracks where the characteristics of the circuit suits our car better or theirs works better.
“It’s about trying to minimise the losses if there are to be losses in those scenarios. Everybody at the factory is working to make sure our car is great everywhere.
“It’s important that we win every race and I want to be ahead of him in every race, that’s my goal here. No games. I’m here to win and I want it just as much, if not more than, anybody else this year.”