Raikkonen contract came as no surprise to Perez

Raikkonen contract came as no surprise to Perez

Hamilton has a series-best four wins this year along with Vettel, yet he finds himself second in the point standings because he hasn't finished second as often. I remember coming here in 1996, my first grand prix, and watching Michael come by and the engine vibrated my rib cage and that was when my love for the sport took another step.

Hamilton in the past has quite repeatedly stressed that he would never seek preferential status over a team-mate and, without specifically referencing Kimi Raikkonen's dutiful reluctance to challenge Vettel in last month's Hungarian GP before the summer break, made a point of stressing the equality of his union with Valtteri Bottas.

"We know that they have a very good straight line speed, and in qualy mode at the start of the race, I obviously felt how strong they were up the hill on the start". 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 vehicle doesn't perform to Vettel's liking.

"It's insane to think that I'm reaching that milestone", said Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton has secured pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, equalling Michael Schumacher's record of 68 career poles.

Both Hamilton and Vettel have won the race at Spa twice.

Vettel, who had struggled through the build-up sessions, admitted: "I really needed that final lap".

Raikkonen contract came as no surprise to Perez

A move to the Italian outfit would be a dream scenario for Mexican Grand Prix promoters, whose Formula One circuit is named after the late Ferrari drivers Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez.

Asked by Sky F1's David Croft if he feared unreliability could hamper his title bid, Hamilton said: "I don't".

"I guess they (the stewards) wanted to see a race, so that's for sure the reason they did that because there was hardly any debris", he said. I had too good a restart, it was very close. I think the positive thing is that we had very good race pace.

For now, though, fans of Ferrari actually winning this year can breathe easy and rejoice a bit.

Hamilton's best time of one minute and 42.553 seconds enabled him to finish one quarter of a second clear of Vettel, who earlier on Saturday committed his long-term future to Ferrari, and lay down the championship gauntlet to his chief rival.

"It was really intense", he said. "I think we're on the right track, and I don't think we have a circuit we should fear going from now".


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