Hamilton: Ferrari never shows its hand on Fridays


Lewis Hamilton started his Belgian Grand Prix weekend in flawless fashion as he set the pace in the second practice session.

The three-time world champion, who is 14 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari in this year's title race ahead of his 200th Grand Prix, was second behind the Finn in the opening session.

Team principal Christian Horner has set drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen the challenge of outscoring Ferrari over the remaining nine races.

When quizzed if Vettel could jump ship and join him at Mercedes, Hamilton said: "I know he doesn't want to be my team-mate".

Now second and 14 points in arrears of the German, Hamilton is bidding for a sixth victory of 2017 at this week's F1 host track, Spa-Francorchamps, in his Brackley-based Mercedes.

Despite setting his best time on the slowest tyre compound available, the soft, Hamilton was just 0.053s adrift of pacesetter Raikkonen in second place despite the Ferrari running the fastest tyre on offer, the ultrasoft.

Spa-Francorchamps: Kimi Raikkonen on Thursday urged Ferrari to re-sign championship leader Sebastian Vettel and revealed that his love of racing was the only reason he had chose to continue next year. The long run was better. Both drivers have tallied four-wins apiece in their respective campaigns, with the duo going tic-for-tac so far.

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"I think a favorite would probably be a wet race. when you've come from 10th or fourth and you outsmart the guys ahead of you and exploit the auto as no-one thought you could". When we made a decision to take him, we knew about his qualities.

"My first grand prix was such a huge highlight. The auto felt strong all-around straight out of the box", Hamilton said. So I don't believe any of the bosses are unhappy with what is now in place.

"Ferrari have been the most consistent this year, that's why they are leading, we need to turn that around, we need to be consistent in finishing and in finishing ahead of them".

"We have had quite a lot in the first part of the season on this side, but I think we are taking care for it to not happen again".

"I'm glad that we at least got a few laps in with high fuel".

"I think for us, for myself, I was not happy".

It is a race which threatens to be hit by bad weather, but Hamilton, so often a master in the rain, is typically not fazed.