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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton hails Verstappen lap as Mercedes play 'guessing game'

Hamilton will start Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix third.

Hamilton Belgium wet
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Lewis Hamilton labelled rival Max Verstappen's fastest time in qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix as "pretty impressive".

The runaway F1 championship leader was a stunning eight-tenths faster than next closest challenger Charles Leclerc as the Spa-Francorchamps circuit rapidly dried from a wet start to proceedings.

But the Red Bull driver will drop to sixth provisionally after taking a gearbox change, promoting Hamilton to third on the grid having finished fourth fastest.

"This track is incredible to drive," Mercedes driver Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

"It was very hectic because it was consistently drying up. It was very slippery at the beginning and difficult to see.

"Just maximising because you know every lap will be faster than the next, that's why we were at the end of the pit lane early for each session - the team did a great job with quick turnarounds.

"I was just head down and maximising as good as I could.

"Still a good chunk off Max - pretty impressive, but I am really happy with the result we have got."

Good start

Hamilton was unable to convert pole position into a podium at last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix but gets another chance to take a trophy home on Sunday.

On his prospects, the seven-time champion conceded: "I have Max behind but that will be the goal - to chase those guys down.

"FP1, no one got any running... it was wet running, so getting the set-up for qualifying which eventually went to dry was a big guessing game, so I am hoping the car is decent in the long runs.

"But so far, a good start."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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