Ferrari will hope their updated vehicle can prove a match for Mercedes at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, as Sebastian Vettel aims to maintain his advantage over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings.
In the sister Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas had a less fruitful day as he finished sixth in FP1 and third in FP2, the Finn feeling he has ground to make up heading into the remainder of the weekend. "I know he doesn't want to be my teammate", Hamilton said.
Mercedes is expected to hold the edge at Spa this weekend, thanks to the aero characteristics of its W08, although it is taking nothing for granted.
"Spa is my favourite track - you have to get everything right, but when you get a good lap, it's very rewarding."That could also be said of Ferrari's second driver Kimi Raikkonen, a four-time Spa victor, who has been confirmed on the team's roster next year".
Lewis Hamilton has wasted no time dispelling rumours that Sebastian Vettel will be joining him at Mercedes next year.
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While his future may be uncertain, the German is threatening to end Mercedes' dominance of the sport as he sits top of the drivers' standings and possesses a 14-point advantage over closest rival Hamilton. "So overall I think the vehicle is there to do the job, to go fast, but we just need to get it right on all fronts and I just need to do my job and then we should be fine".
My first win, my first win at Silverstone, my first win at Monaco, and winning the title in Abu Dhabi in 2014. "We'll let them do their talking outside while we're here to deliver some very special performances", Hamilton said. As a competitor at the top level I take a lot of inspiration from other competitors: Serena [Williams], [Roger] Federer and [Valentino] Rossi and you see their experiences and try to take it on. "And with Bottas, we clearly have the better driver combination".
"Ferrari have been the most consistent this year, that's why they are leading, we need to turn that around, we need to be consistent in finishing and in finishing ahead of them".
"I want to be ahead of him in every single race from now on".
"All in all, I would say we have done OK, considering there were so many changes". I think we have only to gain. With the chance of rain both Saturday and Sunday he may yet have the opportunity to once again overcome and he will hope, exploit.