Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is itching to get back into his Mercedes cockpit with the Formula One calendar finally set to emerge from its summer hibernation.
Hamilton will head to Spa-Francorchamps for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix – the scene of last season’s infamous first-lap collision with team-mate Nico Rosberg – following a four-week break.
Hamilton, who finished sixth at last month’s Hungarian Grand Prix following an error-strewn performance, has holidayed in Barbados and New York.
But the world champion now has his sights fixed on winning in Belgium and strengthening his position in the race for this year’s championship.
‘It’s been good to take a break from racing and spend some time relaxing, training and recharging the batteries,’ said Hamilton, who last won at Spa in 2010.
‘There’s always that flame in the back of your mind that just wants to get back out there and get on it – especially after a race like Hungary.
‘Spa is a great track to kick off the second part of the season too. It’s one of the really great, old-school circuits with so much history. It’s mostly medium to high speed corners, so you’re pretty much pedal to the metal the whole way round which is a lot of fun.
‘It’s always special to come out on top at a classic race like this so I remember winning here well. I love this track and I’ll be gunning for that top spot again.’
Despite his erratic display at the Hungaroring, Hamilton was somehow able to extend his lead over Rosberg in the championship to 21 points.
The German was battling for the victory with his compatriot Sebastian Vettel before he collided with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages. He crossed the line in eighth.
‘Hungary was a big disappointment and I’ve been itching to get back to racing ever since,’ Rosberg, who was reportedly hit with a six-figure fine following his crash with Hamilton at Spa last season, said.
‘When you’re in such a close battle for the championship, any opportunity to gain points is crucial and it’s up to me to take those chances – but also to make them for myself. That’s definitely the target for the second half of the year.
‘We’re only halfway through the season, so it’s all still to play for. Spa is a fantastic circuit – a track that I think every driver enjoys and one that always produces spectacular racing. I’m looking forward to it.’