Hamilton Wins The Belgian GP, Vettel At No.2

Belgian GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Only a few teams in F1 at present can churn out championship winning cars and Ferrari is clearly one of them. And things largely went smoothly for the Briton although Vettel was always behind and showed better pace through most of the race.

I think overall we have the better auto but that's for everyone to judge, he told Sky F1.

"Max dropped out early and I know it's full of Dutch fans here so thanks for sticking around", Ricciardo said.

Though Hamilton halved Vettel's championship lead to seven points with his Spa win, he felt the Ferrari was the quicker vehicle in the race and is a more consistent and predictable machine than his Mercedes.

He added: "I was waiting for him to maybe have an error he was probably waiting for me to have an error or an off but it didn't happen so the quality was very high".

Wolff admitted after they race that Ferrari have caught up with them at tracks where they don't usually perform well, and the onus is now on Merc to respond.

Hamilton's current contract expires at the end of 2018, but his Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says talks over a new deal will not take place until the conclusion of the current campaign. The front tires weren't switched on initially and he got a good tow.

"I think overall we have built a better vehicle - that's my conviction - but that's for everyone to judge".

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"If we can make the same step, we can be close".

"Everyone knows it, we know it - but if it's that easy to change you would do it".

"In Vettel's view, if there was one aspect of Ferrari's performance that is holding it back, it's in failing to do better in qualifying".

"Our pace has been very good this weekend, less for one lap, more for long runs, so let's see what we can do". The other Mercedes auto of Valtteri Bottas finished in fifth place. If you're more or less the same then usually you're fighting for the same bit of track and you struggle to overtake.

"I don't need to think about the future so I think we cross that bridge when we come to it".

If anyone's out there thinking we have the best auto this year then they need to think again, because it's not the case.

"We did a lot better than at Silverstone". The race for the championship is as close as it has been in recent years and the rivalry between Ferrari and Mercedes seems to only be getting started.

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