Hamilton ready to make title charge

Lewis Hamilton returns refreshed from Formula One's mid-season break with renewed hope he can again become world champion.

Formula 1 News: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

After a lengthy five-week gap between grands prix, an exhausting nine races in 13 weekends across four continents now beckon.

The action resumes again this weekend on one of the most revered circuits, not only on the F1 calendar but across the world, with Spa-Francorchamps that plays host to the Belgian Grand Prix.

Winning the last race in Hungary at the end of July at least sent Hamilton and McLaren into the summer hiatus on a high, reigniting belief that despite a 47-point gap to Fernando Alonso, the Ferrari star can be caught.

Hamilton said: "My win in Hungary was a fantastic way to go into the summer break.

"It had the added bonus of sending the whole team away for their holidays with a positive feeling in their hearts.

"It's also given me the hope and assurance that we can come back for the final nine races with a real chance to go for both world championships.

"It's going to be an extremely tough, tactical and interesting finale to the season.

"There's no team with a clear advantage - although we're all pushing hard to catch Fernando's points tally in the drivers' championship - so there's still everything to play for."

As the longest circuit on the track at seven kilometres, and given the capricious nature of the Ardennes region in which it sits, Spa has the habit of hosting the unexpected.

It means with seven different winners this season, there can be no guarantee as to who will emerge triumphant come Sunday.

It is a fact Hamilton appreciates, although for now he cannot wait to simply get back inside his car.

"I really couldn't be happier the season gets back down to business again in Belgium," said Hamilton.

"Spa is one of the best circuits in the world. It's always a buzz to nail a fast lap around there, and after five weeks out of the cockpit, that first lap on Friday is going to feel absolutely sensational.

"Given the unpredictability of the sport, it's still difficult to predict accurately who'll win the next grand prix.

"But I reckon the coming few weeks ought to give us a much clearer idea of the destination of the world title."

With Alonso 40 points clear of Mark Webber, who in turn heads a four-strong group covered by eight points that includes Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton and Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, it is fair to assume the destiny of the title belongs to one of the quintet.

For Jenson Button, trailing Alonso by 88 points, the next few weeks are surely nothing more than about seeing out a mainly wretched year on a high and with a platform to build for 2013.

After starting the season with a win in Australia and second place in the third race in Malaysia, a run of six grands prix in which he claimed just seven points have effectively made him a bit-part player for the rest of this campaign.

After holidaying and training in the Philippines, Hawaii and the UK over the past few weeks, like team-mate Hamilton, Button is at least itching to go again.

Button said: "While I've had a great break, I'm really looking forward to getting back to work.

"In fact, you couldn't really ask for a more spectacular double-header for F1's return.

"Spa is the daddy of them all, one of the all-time great grand prix tracks, and Monza is one of the most historic and evocative circuits on the calendar.

"They're each places with their own unique atmosphere. I've some really great memories of both circuits, but I've won neither.

"Given our pace in the last few races, I go forward feeling positive about rectifying that over the coming weekends."



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