Hamilton takes record-equalling 68th F1 pole in Belgian GP qualifying

Hamilton takes record-equalling 68th F1 pole in Belgian GP qualifying

Hamilton takes record-equalling 68th F1 pole in Belgian GP qualifying

Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel says it was a "no-brainer" to extend his contract with Ferrari for three more years but it still took him until late August to do so.

The length of Vettel's contract ends speculation he could join forces with Mercedes, and the likelihood of Hamilton moving in the opposite direction when his deal expires next year.

Lewis Hamilton increased the pace on quicker tires and posted the fastest time in the second practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.

"You'd think after 200 races your passion and desire to win would fade, but it's stronger than ever", Hamilton said.

"It is definitely a special day", Hamilton, 32, said. I saw some other teams playing around with tows previously in qualifying but it's usually one of those things you can't really plan so you tend to stay away from them. "That's my conviction. It was a no-brainer to continue".

"It feels wonderful around this track - it always generally does but to have a auto as we have here, and the setup and work my engineers did to achieve the balance, was great. First it was the worst, then it was a little bit less, then it disappeared and then it came back", Raikkonen said.

With Vettel's future now secure, it is expected that Mercedes will retain Valtteri Bottas at least for one more year.

"I don't know what Niki was asked, but at the end of the day you cross each other out there in the paddock, and sometimes you're like, 'What are you doing? More than 100 kids, but he took the time to shake all our hands", Vettel said.

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Hamilton later added: "I always played as Michael, particularly when he was at Ferrari, when I was racing on the computer". We haven't succeeded so the mission is still going. I am here to win.

Force India are now fourth in the championship after 11 races, more than 200 points behind champions Mercedes and Ferrari.

"I don't want to step in his footsteps".

"I enjoy the racing and, obviously, I want to do well. Something that for me is now the biggest challenge, the biggest dream that I have and what I want to achieve". I remember coming here in 1996, my first grand prix, and watching Michael come by out of Turn 1 and the engine just roared.

"I didn't think that it was probably the right time".

"As far as I understand, he had a mistake on his last flying lap, his last attempt", Vettel said.

"We made a decision to go for it and make the call".

"It looks tight at the top on the long-run pace, but we've started the weekend in the best way possible".

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