Lewis Hamilton on Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Belgian GP
F1 returns at the Belgian GP on Sky Sports F1 this weekend; The action begins on Friday, with Sunday's race at 2.10pm
By James Galloway at Spa-Francorchamps
Last Updated: 30/08/19 9:51am
Lewis Hamilton says he feels rested and recharged after F1's summer break - but says his large championship lead will not lull him into a false sense of security.
The season resumes at awesome Spa-Francorchamps this weekend with Hamilton holding a 62-point championship lead after winning eight of the 12 races before the sport broke for a three-week break.
"I didn't go into it thinking 'okay, I've got this gap, I can enjoy it more'," said Hamilton at Spa. "I was going to have a good time whatever the case and make sure I come back focused."
Hamilton's advantage makes him the overriding favourite for the championship with nine races to go but the five-time champion says he must maintain his usual intensity.
"It doesn't make any difference: I know how much work I've still got to do," insisted Hamilton.
"If I don't turn up this weekend or the following ones, if I don't deliver in these next races and make mistakes, I could easily lose the championship.
"There are points available to turn the tables so I just stay focused as I have been in the past.
"I really do come back into this second half, like each year, and there are areas I really want to improve on whilst not letting the other areas drop. I truly believe I can do that. Time will tell."
Who is Hamilton's biggest rival?
While anything but a sixth world championship for Hamilton at the end of this season currently looks a remote possibility, the form of Red Bull's Max Verstappen before the summer break suggested the Dutchman may at least emerge as the world champion's most regular challenger for race wins over the remainder of 2019.
Valtteri Bottas remains Hamilton's nearest championship pursuer, but Verstappen is just seven points behind the second Mercedes.
"It could be either [Valtteri or Max] as main rival," said Hamilton.
When's the Belgian GP on Sky?
The F1 season resumes at Spa - here's how you can watch every session on Sky Sports F1.
"Max is catching up and getting quite close on points [to Bottas], and they've got a couple of tracks which should be really strong for them, but they might continue to be really strong for the rest of the year, like at the end of last year. I see them being very much a threat throughout the rest of the season.
"And I think Valtteri, now this break - which I'm sure was quite stressful for him, not knowing whether he's signing or not - is out of the way, he can focus on being the best he can be so I know he'll come here, and into the second half, very strong."
On the title threat posed by Verstappen in particular, Hamilton added: "You have to look at all the possibilities so, of course, it is still possible. But not's something I try and worry myself about.
"It's possible for Valtteri to still win the title. I don't know how far back it goes, but I've just got to focus on trying to deliver every weekend."
Mercedes under threat at Spa and Monza?
F1 2019 resumes with back-to-back race weekends at two of the sport's most famous and fastest circuits - Spa this weekend and Monza next.
Ferrari's car has held an advantage in a straight line all season, while Red Bull's Honda power unit has consistently improved, and Hamilton has predicted "it's going to be a real difficult two races".
"We've got a good car but you've seen throughout the year that the Ferraris are particularly quick on the straights, they're going to be a formidable force this weekend and I think their car will work really well here," predicted the Briton.
"Even the Red Bull is now insanely fast on the straights, mostly in qualifying, and then their downforce package obviously works really well."