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Hamilton not giving up on title despite Vettel's lead

ESPN Staff
August 26, 2013 « Boullier confident of Raikkonen stay | Michelin makes contact with FIA »
Lewis Hamilton started on pole position at Spa but couldn't match Sebastian Vettel's pace © Associated Press

Lewis Hamilton says he is not giving up on the possibility of chasing down Sebastian Vettel but admits winning this year's championship will be "very tough".

Vettel's victory in Belgium extended his championship lead to 46 points over Fernando Alonso and 58 points over Hamilton with eight rounds still to go. After finishing third at Spa Hamilton admitted it would be a tall order to close the gap but took heart from previous races this season where he has been able to beat Vettel on outright pace.

"It's a big, big gap; it's a huge gap so it's going to be very tough to close that but I'm going to keep pushing," Hamilton said. "It's going to be very, very tough, undoubtedly. He's just had a phenomenal car for a long, long time and it still is phenomenally quick and he does the job so it's the perfect package. But we've had some really strong races and we've been there or thereabouts competing with him and we have finished ahead of him in the past so it doesn't mean that we can't do that in these next races. But it is getting closer and closer to the point where we really need to be finishing ahead every single time to close that gap."

While Hamilton was hopeful that Mercedes would make some progress with its low-downforce package for Monza but said he was targeting Singapore as the best place to start chasing down Vettel.

"We're just trying to understand where we've missed out but I think the guys will work over the next few days to try and understand where we were slower. Eau Rouge was particularly slow for us and down the straights; in the next race maybe we'll be able to unlock something before the next race but if not I'm hoping that Singapore onwards will be much stronger.

"They're more windy circuits, more high downforce circuits and when you come to these two circuits [Spa and Monza] you get a downforce package and you're kind of stuck with it. It either has or hasn't worked, so we may improve in the next race or we may be in the same position, but we won't be any worse that's for sure. Then onwards we will have the higher downforce package that we had in the previous races but should hopefully be improved again so I'm hoping we'll be more competitive from then on."