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'Faultless' Hamilton feared Silverstone repeat in Spa triumph


The Briton was worried his tyres may have been failing.

Lewis Hamilton was concerned his tyres would not last the distance as he earned what proved to be a comfortable victory at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver led from pole to beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, making it four career wins in Spa and five from seven races this season.

A safety car on lap 11 after a big crash between Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell meant most of the field pitted for new tyres much earlier than anticipated in Sunday's race.

Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen all reported tyre issues in the closing stages and the Briton was nursing his car as he sought to avoid a repeat of the punctures suffered by both Mercedes at Silverstone in round four.

"It wasn't the easiest of races," Hamilton said after his latest triumph.

"There was a couple of [moments] - I had a lock up into Turn 5 which started to give a bit of vibration and one into the last corner.

"I think the tyre temps were slowly dropping no matter how much you were pushing. You start to lose temperature in the tyres as you lose rubber.

"I was a little nervous that we might have a scenario like Silverstone with the that right front towards the end so I was nursing it.

"It was a bit of a struggle but, nonetheless, I think it was okay. It looks like the tyre has got plenty of rubber on it, so maybe it was just fine and all worry for nothing."

Seeking a record-equalling seventh world title, Hamilton is in complete control of the championship, leading Verstappen by 47 points and Bottas by 50 after just seven races.

"I know it is not necessarily what everyone always wants to see - the Mercedes at the front - but no matter how much success we have to just keep our heads down," Hamilton said.

"When I go back to the office now there is no guy celebrating, we are thinking about how we win the next race. It is an incredible mentality to work around.

"It is strange to think I am 35 going towards 36 but I feel better than ever so that is a positive and I am really grateful to the team."

Bottas ended a run of four straight grands prix without a top-two finish, labelling Hamilton "faultless" as his wait for a second race win of 2020 continued.

"Of course at the start it would have been a good opportunity but Lewis played it well – he made sure he was not too fast out of Turn 1 and I couldn't really find momentum to get him," the Finn said.

"Those two things were the difference. There was also a tail wind into Turn 5 and it was the same after the restart, I just couldn't catch him on the straight.

"Lewis is driving mistake-free. I think Lewis was faultless [in the race] and [qualifying] he was quick.

"We earn more points. At least it was a clean weekend for me with no big issues. But I definitely want those race wins. I'm just happy there's an opportunity again next weekend."