Lewis Hamilton ‘really happy’ amid Mercedes resurgence

Lewis Hamilton is targeting a return to the rostrum after missing out in Hungary.

Lewis Hamilton was delighted to claim a second row start for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, after qualifying fourth.

Whilst he qualified fourth, Hamilton will actually start from third following a five-place grid penalty for pole sitter Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman was sensationally quick Friday evening, with him having claimed pole by eight-tenths of a second.

Verstappen’s grid penalty is for taking a fifth gearbox, outside his allotted four.

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It means the Dutchman will be behind Hamilton at the start of the race, with the seven-time World Champion having hailed the Red Bull driver as “very impressive”.

Hamilton discussed his session after claiming third on the grid, in what was a qualifying that began in the wet but ended in the dry.

“It was definitely very hectic because it was just consistently drying up,” Hamilton told F1.com.

“Very slippery at the beginning and difficult to see.

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“[It was about] just maximising because you know that every lap is going to be faster on the next lap, so making sure you’re just out and that’s why we were at the end of pit lane early each session.

“The team did a great job in getting us out, and quick turnarounds, and yeah, I was just head down, just maximising as much as I could.

“In the end, I was still a good chunk off Max, [who was] pretty impressive, but I’m really happy with the result.”

Hamilton starts Sunday’s race behind Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, two drivers he aiming to “chase”.

The 103-time race winner is hopeful that the car is “decent” during the sprint race on Saturday, as it would suggest that he has a good car for Sunday’s longer race.

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“I guess I’ve got Max behind but yeah, that’ll be the goal, of course, to chase those guys down,” he said.

“With P1 wet running and getting the setup ready for qualifying today, when it eventually went to dry… it’s just like a big guessing game.

“I’m hoping that the car is decent in the long run tomorrow in the [Sprint] race. But, so far, it’s a good start.”