Lewis Hamilton Tops Belgian Grand Prix Second Practice

Hamilton gets back to the business of chasing Vettel in Spa

The Mercedes driver finished fourth at the last race in Hungary.

He went quickest just before the 90-minute session's halfway mark on a 1m46.439s on super-soft tyres, and later went nearly a second faster in the final half an hour on softs.

Finnish veteran Kimi Raikkonen believes he can still win races and fight for Formula One championships after agreeing a contract extension keeping him at Ferrari next season.

In 2016, Hamilton famously took a host of penalties at the Belgian Grand Prix, having exhausted his allocated power-unit components through the season.

Now second and 14 points in arrears of the German, Hamilton is bidding for a sixth victory of 2017 at this week's F1 host track, Spa-Francorchamps, in his Brackley-based Mercedes.

He finished third that day in Melbourne, and went on to record nine consecutive podium finishes - including his first victory at the Canadian Grand Prix - in an nearly flawless opening campaign.

Of course Hamilton's career has not been without controversy, but it is one which will see him finish among the most decorated drivers of all time, with 57 victories, second only to Schumacher, and 67 poles already under his belt.

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Niki Lauda has admitted the Mercedes Formula 1 team could take a different approach in the future when it comes to team orders between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton says wins at the next two races will be important if he is to beat Sebastian Vettel to this year's title.

"We work very well together, as does the whole team", he said. We just need to find the right balance. "He wouldn't be in the position he is in now in his team, in terms of how the team operates, if he was here".

Max Verstappen used his ultra-softs to jump ahead of Ricciardo with 20 minutes remaining, as the Red Bull ended up 0.8s slower than Raikkonen. Bottas also had a odd moment where he was allowing a vehicle on a flying lap through at Turn 13 but ended up hitting the barrier.

"But then it was more hard than the results look like, because we had some pretty close racing with Ferrari - Barcelona with Sebastian [Vettel] being really close behind Lewis, and then Sochi and Spielberg, being really close behind Valtteri".

"We have had quite a lot in the first part of the season on this side, but I think we are taking care for it to not happen again".

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