Found August 22, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Lewis Hamilton has been training hard during Formula One's midseason break. His goal is clear: He wants to catch leader Sebastian Vettel with nine races left. Hamilton, who won from the front at the Hungarian Grand Prix last month, begins his work at Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, where he will be looking to secure his fourth consecutive pole position. The Mercedes driver is fourth overall and has 48 points to make up on Vettel, the three-time defending champion. Hamilton usually spends the midseason break relaxing but this time he chose to increase his training regime and has not given up hope of repeating his 2008 title. ''There's still a long way to go in the championship so nothing's impossible,'' Hamilton said. ''I feel good in myself, coming here knowing I have a car I can fight with. ''I've been training really hard over the break, which has been a lot different to the last six years,'' he added. ''The last six years I've taken it as a real holiday. I just fancied doing something different. I just really kept myself busy. I wasn't on the beach chilling.'' At the same stage last season, Hamilton was dealing with issues surrounding his future and tensions between him and Jenson Button escalated in tandem with the speculation. ''Not knowing where I was planning to go was a constant drain, taking away energy,'' he said. ''It's just a great feeling coming here. I'm settled in my new team, happy where I am now, looking forward to a successful three years with them.'' Vettel was in a similar position to Hamilton last year, coming to Spa trailing Fernando Alonso by 42 points. He clawed those back and won the title at the last race. Vettel is 38 points ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and 39 ahead of Alonso. But Hamilton is expected by many to emerge as Vettel's direct challenger. ''Mercedes has been very, very competitive, not just Lewis. Also Nico (Rosberg), who won two races,'' Vettel said. ''We know that they're very quick in qualifying. Hungary, in a way, for the first time they had the ability to show their speed in the race as well.'' Hamilton's win in Budapest was indicative of a marked improvement in the car's consistency. While Mercedes had the speed advantage over Red Bull it lacked durability for a whole race. ''Surely the last couple of races they were most competitive,'' said Vettel, who still considers Alonso and Raikkonen a threat. ''Lotus have always been there scoring points with Kimi. Ferrari has a bit of a lull at the moment, still they've got good points,'' he said. ''All of these teams and these drivers you have to keep them in mind. For us it's not that important to pick one particular driver.'' Vettel gets along well with Raikkonen and is disappointed he will not get to drive alongside the Finn next season. The Red Bull seat is up for grabs since Mark Webber announced he will retire from F1 at the end of the campaign. ''First of all, I didn't know how realistic it was or not. It looks like it's not the case,'' Vettel said. ''Kimi would have been nice in many ways ... Who knows? He's young, I'm still young, a lot of things can still happen. But probably not for next year.'' The 33-year-old Raikkonen's Lotus future remains unclear. He has been linked with a move to Red Bull and also to Ferrari, but the Red Bull move appears over because Daniel Ricciardo is widely expected to step up from Toro Rosso and replace Webber. ''Ideally, you would like someone who is competitive, as competitive as you are, so that we're pushing each other. You don't have to be best friends with whoever is racing next to you,'' said Vettel, who has had several high-profile spats with Webber over the years. ''You need to work for the team, I think that's one of the most important bits,'' Vettel added. ''So that you work in the same direction and hopefully ensure that the car gets faster.''

Hamilton's F1 title bid resumes

Lewis Hamilton must keep the pressure on Sebastian Vettel at the Belgian Grand Prix to maintain his slim title chances when the Formula One season resumes following its midseason break. While Ferrari has slipped behind the pace in recent races, Mercedes is finally adding consistency to its undoubted speed to give Hamilton an outside shot at closing the gap on championship leader...

Hamilton wins pole at Belgian GP

Lewis Hamilton surprised even himself after beating both Red Bull cars to secure his fourth consecutive pole position in a rain-soaked qualifying session at the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday. The Mercedes driver is the first Briton since Damon Hill in 1995 to get four straight poles and has set himself up perfectly to keep the pressure on championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who...

Hamilton tops Vettel's time

Lewis Hamilton left it to the last second to beat Sebastian Vettel's time and secure his fourth straight pole position of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday. In a frantic finish under heavy rain at Spa, the lead changed hands in a flurry of activity as first Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Vettel all beat each other's times, only for Hamilton to go fastest for...

Vettel strong in Belgian GP practice

Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time before his rear tire punctured in Friday's second practice at the Belgian Grand Prix. The three-time defending Formula One champion had to stop with about 20 minutes of the session remaining when his right rear tire popped and the loose rubber flapped around as he made his way back to the pits. The German had earlier clocked 1 minute...

Vettel posts fastest practice time

Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time in the third practice session at the Belgian Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday. The three-time defending Formula One champion beat Fernando Alonso's time late in the session to clock a best of 1 minute, 48.327 seconds, putting him .105 clear of the Spaniard and .206 ahead of Red Bull teammate Mark Webber. Lewis Hamilton again...
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