Formular 1

Verstappen is aiming to resurrect his title bid, while Hamilton is aiming for his 100th victory.

This weekend, Hamilton will be aiming for his 100th career victory, as well as his fifth this season, as Mercedes attempts to hold off Red Bull's title challenge.

As Formula One returns from a mid-season summer break at the Belgian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen will look to gain a measure of home advantage by defeating Lewis Hamilton and resurrecting his title bid.

Last month, before the yearly downtime, the Belgian-born Dutchman saw a comfortable 33-point advantage slip into an eight-point deficit at the British and Hungarian Grands Prix.

In front of his adoring ‘orange army,’ he knows he must rebound strongly in the next two events.

Following the issues of Silverstone and Budapest, the 23-year-old Hasselt-born Red Bull driver requires an uneventful race to reestablish consistency after opening lap crashes in his last two appearances.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Spa,” he remarked. “It’s my favorite track, and it’s a blast to drive since there are so many fast corners and elevation changes.

“It’s a wonderful place to refocus our championship battle, and I’m well prepared and feeling strong heading into this weekend’s races. I’m excited to see all of the fans and all of the orange in the stands!”

Verstappen will need a change of fortune as well, as he has never won or placed higher than third at the sweeping and picturesque circuit located in the Ardennes forests.

Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, has won four times, including last year.

This weekend, Hamilton will be aiming for his 100th career victory, as well as his fifth this season, as Mercedes attempts to hold off Red Bull’s title challenge.

It will be another grueling test of temper as well as power and speed for both guys, as they will race straight from Belgium to Verstappen’s second home event, the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, the following weekend, and then to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix without a respite.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, attendance in Spa-Francorchamps will be capped at 75 000 per day, with most spectators expecting more of the spectacular and competitive racing that was seen in the United Kingdom and Hungary, sparking a war of words between the Mercedes and Red Bull teams.

Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff said, “We are in a strong position, dominating both championships, and our car is in a better spot owing to the recent modifications.”

“However, we are anticipating a really difficult weekend.”

When asked about the tense rivalry between Red Bull and team leader Christian Horner, Wolff claimed he and Mercedes had tried to keep things peaceful, but that Red Bull had not.

“We’ve tried to keep our calm, stay level-headed, and avoid stirring up controversy and polarization among our fans during the war of words.

“Our goal was always to de-escalate, but on the other side, regrettably, the reverse happened.”

He emphasized that the enmity sprang from personal conflicts, and that the two teams maintained mutual respect.

“These organizations and the people who work for them are always respected,” he remarked.

As the second half of the season gets underway, both Mercedes and Red Bull might face stiff competition from Ferrari and McLaren this weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren will begin his 200th Grand Prix at the breathtaking and high-speed track where seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, later to become a Ferrari icon, made his F1 debut with Jordan 30 years ago.


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