Lewis looks east for turning point
LEWIS HAMILTON: He and is Mercedes team are looking to the east for answers to the pace of his Formula 1 car. Image: AFP
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Lewis Hamilton hopes Singapore can be a springboard for success in his battle to rein in Red Bull's runaway Formula 1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel chalked up his fifth win from 11 races in Belgium on Sunday (Aug 25) and moved 46 points clear of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with eight rounds remaining. Vettel is 58 points clear of 2008 champion Hamilton (now third overall for Mercedes after Kimi Raikkonen's first retirement in his Lotus) and a fourth consecutive title is beckoning.
Hamilton, who started from pole, said: "That's a huge gap. It's going to be very tough to close but I'm going to keep pushing."
Italy is next, the last round of the European season at the fastest track of all, before F1 heads to Singapore, South Korea and Japan and circuits more suited to Hamilton's Mercedes. The young Englishman added: "The guys will work over the next few days to try to understand where we were slower (in Belgium). Eau Rouge was particularly slow for us - and down the straights.
"Maybe we will be able to unlock something before Italy but if not then I'm hoping that Singapore onwards will be much better."
Hamilton won the previous race in Hungary, one of the slowest tracks, and has been on pole for four races in a row. He was seen before Spa - a circuit that has ranked among Red Bull's weakest - as the man most likely to take the fight to Vettel.
However, the Briton was powerless to stop Vettel roaring past on the first lap at Spa and Monza promises more of the same. "When you come to this one and the next one, you get a downforce package and you're kind of stuck with it. It either has or hasn't worked. So we may improve in the next race or be in the same position," Hamilton added.
"It won't be any worse, that's for sure. And then on we'll have the high downforce package that we had in the previous races but, I hope, improved again. I'm hoping we will then be more competitive."