Lewis Hamilton insists that he isn't feeling the pressure heading into the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, despite seeing McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso eat into his Formula 1 championship lead once again in the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.

Alonso has finished ahead of Hamilton in the last two races, with third place in Turkey being followed by his Monza victory, to cut the young Briton's advantage down to just three points heading into the final race of the European season.

However, despite the fact that Alonso is now right on his tail, Hamilton insists he isn't feeling the pressure and - if anything - is now more motivated to succeed.

"The situation in both championships is very close," he said, "and people keep talking about pressure, but it just provides me with extra motivation. I certainly don't feel any stress. There are four races to go, including Belgium, and I will take them all individually and do my best to try and win them."

This weekends race on the new look Spa circuit will mark the return of the Belgian Grand Prix after a year away from the calendar to allow improvement works to be carried out and Hamilton added that he couldn't wait to take to the famed circuit for the first time in Formula 1 competition.

"Spa is a track that everyone has always talked about and it is with good reason," he said. "I love the circuit, it does require a compromise with the set-up to account for the fast straights and corners whilst also ensure you can have the right amount of traction through the slower sections, and it is all about being precise. Eau Rouge is just awesome, it is so quick and I look forward to it every single lap. It is definitely one of the pleasures of being a Formula 1 driver! You always try to go that bit quicker, and as it is flat out now with no lifting, the only way to do this is by steering as little as possible. The forces that are placed on your body feel a bit weird, but you don't really think about that after the first lap.

"I raced here in 2005, race one was in the wet, race two in the dry, so I have some good experience and won race two. We tested here in July and completed some positive work with Bridgestone. Now I am just waiting to get out there and race in a Formula 1 car for the first time."

Hamilton's title challenge could, of course, be affected by the outcome of today's hearing into the Formula 1 spying row, with McLaren back in the dock at the FIA headquarters in Paris.

Full details as and when they emerge...

 

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