Belgian GP: Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory

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Hamilton's third Spa win helped him trim championship leader Vettel's advantage over him to seven points, with eight races left in what is shaping up to be a nail-biting finish. "I knew it was on the horizon and knew I'd get the 68th pole, but I haven't thought about it much".

Spa-Francorchamps: A disappointed Sebastian Vettel blamed himself on Friday after struggling to match Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and trailing in fifth in practice for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix. "I've had the privilege of racing with him and always admired him and still do", he said. However, Sky Sports notes that there's very likely a performance-related clause in Vettel's contract that would allow him to leave if the auto doesn't perform to Vettel's liking.

"Sebastian put a great fight on but this is what I said I was coming to do so I did it", Hamilton told the crowd from the podium.

"I think and pray for Michael all the time". He is looking primed to boss the race on Sunday and strike a major blow against his rivals, particularly Vettel, in the Championship chase. "It's a good way of working, but obviously I am not the one who decides".

"We made some good steps with the set-up right from the start of P1, which is a really encouraging way to kick off the weekend", Hamilton said.

Vettel has yet to sign an extension on his Ferrari contract, which expires at the end of the season, while Mercedes are yet to confirm that Valtteri Bottas will remain Hamilton's team-mate next year. Very consistent lap times despite the tires.

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"Lewis has been really on it but I am slightly confused why I have not been able to get quite close enough, so I still need to find some answers from me".

Ferrari were destroyed by Mercedes the last time Formula 1 raced at a high-speed circuit, Silverstone.

"I can't believe this", Verstappen said.

"You might think that after 200 races your passion might fade - but not for me. My prayers are for him and the family and he will always be one of the greatest of all time", the Mercedes driver concluded.

"It's nearly insane to think I've reached Michael's record, a fantastic milestone. I feel very privileged".

"On the restart the safety auto was driving so slow, it was I guess to let the other people catch up, so keeping tyre temperature, given I was on the harder tyre, was very, very difficult". We need to turn that around and make sure that we are not just consistently finishing but are consistently finishing ahead of them and out-performing them.