Lewis Hamilton says he's improving with age after victory in 200th race
"I'm 200 races in and stronger than ever," Belgian GP winner tells Sky F1
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 31/08/17 8:07am
A confident Lewis Hamilton claims he's getting better with age and is "stronger than ever" after celebrating his 200th grand prix with a crucial victory.
Hamilton cut Sebastian Vettel's championship advantage to just seven points with a sublime drive at the Belgian GP, holding off his title rival in a thrilling but tense head-to-head battle.
Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are the only current drivers to have started more races than Hamilton and while he claimed he was "still young at heart", the three-time world champion felt his Spa performance showed he was always improving.
"What's comforting is, I'm 200 races in and stronger than ever," the 32-year-old, who won his first Formula 1 title nine years ago, told Sky Sports F1's Natalie Pinkham.
"They say you probably get worse with age, but I think it's the other way round. I feel pretty good."
It was a weekend of records for Hamilton, as he also equalled Michael Schumacher's pole tally before becoming only the fourth driver to toast their 200th race with a victory.
But the Briton also acknowledged that both the Belgian GP and this weekend's race in Monza were essentially must-wins if he is to claim a fourth championship this season, given Mercedes' power advantage over Ferrari.
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That was a view backed up by the Silver Arrows' head of motorsport Toto Wolff, who didn't expect Vettel to be so close to Hamilton throughout the Spa race.
"We were surprised," Wolff said. "They have done a good job in bringing an upgrade package that works.
"This is a track that shouldn't suit them, like Silverstone, and they were much closer than expected.
"We just have to keep our development scope steep and continue to bring bits on the car and deliver faultlessly."
Lewis contract talks on hold?
Wolff also revealed that negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes regarding a new deal would wait until the end of an "intense" 2017 campaign.
A report in the Mail on Sunday suggested Hamilton, whose current contract expires next season, was set to agree a new three-year deal with the Silver Arrows, who he joined back in 2013.
But though Wolff suggested both parties would agree on Hamilton staying put, he said there were more important matters to focus on between now and the end of the year.
"Our relationship is very good and each of us appreciates what they have in the other one," Wolff added. "But this is not a topic we want to take now over the remaining races of the season.
"It's an intense last third of the year and we will get that over the line and then pick up the discussion."
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