Hamilton desperate for Spa spark

Hamilton returns to action at Spa desperate to bury the misery of his last outing.

Spa-Francorchamps: Lewis Hamilton
returns to action at Spa on Sunday desperate to bury the
misery of his last outing in Hungary where he lost the world
championship lead to Mark Webber.

Hamilton, refreshed after a four-week summer break,
failed to finish at the Hungaroring when his McLaren developed
gearbox trouble.

In contrast, Red Bull driver Webber sped to an impressive
victory to take the championship lead from the Briton who had
been in front since securing victory in Canada in June.

"Neither (teammate and reigning world champion) Jenson
Button or I had a great race at Spa last year," said 2008
champion Hamilton.

"I didn`t see much of it from the cockpit, but I think
Jenson was pushed into a spin from behind at Les Combes and
the resulting accident took me out too. So it was weird to
watch the whole race back in the garage.”

"For this year, too, I head to Spa off the back of a
disappointing non-finish in Hungary. We`ve investigated the
causes, and think we`ve identified the reason and are
confident that it shouldn`t happen again."

Meanwhile, Felipe Massa, his appetite undiminished by the
furore surrounding Ferrari`s `fixed` win in Germany in July,
is keen to banish all bad memories with another long-awaited
triumph for the Italian team here.

At Hockenheim, the Brazilian seemed to have victory in
his sights when he was persuaded to concede the lead to
team-mate Fernando Alonso - a move that sparked widespread

So, this time around, back at one of his favourite
circuits, he wants to prove he has the talent and potential to
be a race-winner again with a dominant and untarnished display
of supremacy at the front of the field.

"The last time I raced here was in 2008 when I won, but
it`s not just because I won that race that I love this track,"
he explained. "Everyone just loves to race here.”

"I think all the drivers look forward to racing on this
fabulous circuit. It is high-speed, requiring less down-force
than at many of the other tracks and fortunately, in the last
few races, we showed that we have returned to being very
competitive, even better than we had expected."

Massa has scored two seconds and one third place this
season on his return from a life-threatening accident in last
year`s Hungarian Grand Prix, but he is without a win for
nearly two years since claiming the 11th victory of his
career in his home-town Brazilian race in Sao Paulo in 2008.

To many that would suggest he is under pressure, but as a
Brazilian, and even more so as a Ferrari driver, he said he
has had to live with that kind of pressure of expectation all
the time.

"You know, for myself and for Ferrari, we have been in
this sort of situation before and we know how to deal with the
pressure -- simply by concentrating on the job in hand," he

In their last outing in Hungary, Alonso was second and
Massa fourth.

That confirmed that Ferrari are back as a strong team
challenging at the front again after some topsy-turvy form
and, with seven races remaining, they are motivated to push
for glory.

"But it is very hard to predict what could happen, as the
small differences between the top teams means that performance
has been very much track-specific, in terms of who had the
slight advantage over the rest," said Massa.

"So, as usual, I think we need to wait and see how free
practice goes before knowing what to expect.”

"Personally, I am feeling really motivated to get back in
the cockpit because, even if I enjoyed the short holiday, I
have to say I missed driving my race car -- and I can`t think
of a better place to start again than at Spa.”

"Even if it rains, it is still a very enjoyable track to
drive and actually it can be good fun in the wet. We just have
to make sure we are ready to make the most of whatever the
weekend throws at us."

Bureau Report

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