Lewis Hamilton sure Nico Rosberg won't throw towel in on title tilt
Hamilton doesn't agree with theory he has won the mental battle at Mercedes, despite another victory over Rosberg; Briton feels "at peace" on back of Spa form and "best ever" summer break
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 27/08/15 9:32am
Lewis Hamilton does not believe Nico Rosberg has accepted he is second best at Mercedes and is certain his team-mate will "come back and keep fighting" in their duel for the world title.
In what has proved a title defence of few setbacks so far, Hamilton opened up his biggest margin of the season at the head of the championship - 28 points - with his sixth win from 11 races in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Rosberg, meanwhile, finished second for the fifth time in 2015 and conceded afterwards that "Lewis did a great job, so deserved to win".
Hamilton also already boasts an unassailable 10-1 lead over the German in their qualifying head-to-head, a total turnaround from 2014 when Rosberg became the first team-mate to outqualify the Briton over a season.
In the wake of his latest victory on Sunday, Hamilton was asked by Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle if he thought he had mentally got on top of Rosberg to the point where the German now knows he can't beat him.
"I don't know. It's very rare you see a driver fall to that belief," Hamilton replied. "They can still believe they're better and all those kind of things. Whether it's true or not, you know...
"I remember driving with Fernando [Alonso, at McLaren in 2007] and Fernando could never believe why sometimes I was quicker. He was like 'it must be something wrong with the car because I'm the best'. That's what he would say to himself, I know for sure.
"Nico's very strong and he's going to come back and keep fighting. I know that he still has that belief in himself, which is fine by me. It's no problem."
For just the second time this season, Hamilton is the points equivalent of a race victory clear of Rosberg in the standings - meaning that he could afford a retirement in the next race at Monza and remain in the lead of the championship.
However, the 30-year-old insists he isn't looking at the situation that way and is just happy to be ahead. He has also taken particular satisfaction from taking his first step towards achieving his stated post-summer break target.
"I don't look at it as DNF or anything like that because naturally as a team we don't ever want a DNF," Hamilton said.
"Look at this last year: I crashed out of this race, I was 29 points behind when I came out of here, so it's been way more positive all the way up to here.
"My goal coming off the back of a real great holiday coming into this part of the season was to translate those great laps I'm doing in qualifying to get those wins in. Today that was really the start of it, hopefully."
Not for the first time in his career, Hamilton's life away from the track had come in for criticism in some quarters following his trips during the summer break to Barbados and New York, with the Briton posting pictures of his various activities on social media.
But after resuming the season with one of his most commanding performances of 2015 so far, Hamilton said: "I was super refreshed after the holiday. I felt great. I had such a good break.
"It was the best break I've ever had, so to come into this weekend and get the qualifying lap I got in and then translate it [in the race] you can't imagine how at peace I feel in my heart."