Lewis Hamilton admits he is unenthused by the prospect of having to fight his way through the field during the Belgian Grand Prix as he prepares take a series of grid penalties at Spa-Francorchamps.
The championship leader has already notched up 30 positions worth of grid penalties after Mercedes opted to make two power unit changes during the two free practice sessions, all-but-guaranteeing he will start at the back of the grid.
RESULTS: Belgian Grand Prix – Free practice results (2)
Adapting his practice programme accordingly to focus on long runs knowing he isn't in the hunt for pole position now, Hamilton admits he is wary about the difficulties he faces in clawing back ground from such a precarious position.
“The approach isn't the same, because normally you are dialling in the car with more front end to get around the track as fast as possible, as where now we are trying to get round for as long as possible. Today, I didn't do any low fuel runs, I only did race fuel running the whole time and it will be the same tomorrow to try to get the most realistic and representative scenario for Sunday.
“I wouldn't say it is particularly exciting [coming from behind], but it's what I'm faced with and I will do the best job I can with it. I love racing, so it's no problem.”
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Keen to protect his 19 point advantage over Nico Rosberg in the overall standings, Hamilton isn't expecting to necessarily leave Spa still out front, suggesting it will be tough to fight amongst the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and potentially Force India.
“I heard them say the Red Bulls are quick, the Force Indias are quick and the Ferraris are somewhere. Getting to the top ten probably won't be the difficult thing but it will be getting up through those guys that is going to be harder.
“For sure that's [keeping title lead] the target, but whether or not I'll be able to do that, it'll be very hard to do that. There's a long way to go in the season, so either way it doesn't really matter.”
Even so, Hamilton jokes it will be fun to race with Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard likely to join the Mercedes driver on the back row after landing his own penalties.
“Oh nice! Me and Fernando racing at the back? That could be cool.”
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