Red Bull Spa

Lewis Hamilton believes Red Bull and Ferrari will pose more of a threat on pure pace to Mercedes than they have in recent Formula 1 races at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The reigning F1 world champion was second in both of Friday’s practice sessions at Spa to team-mate Nico Rosberg, 0.242 seconds behind in the morning and 0.302s in the afternoon session punctuated by Rosberg’s high-speed tyre blowout.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third in both sessions, within 0.049s of Hamilton in first practice, before the margin grew on the soft compound.

With Ferrari also looming despite Sebastian Vettel failing to find a rhythm and ending the afternoon in 10th, Hamilton says he is expecting a challenge from both teams in Sunday’s race.

“Red Bull and Ferrari are both looking faster this weekend than in past weekends,” he said.

“It’s going to be a close weekend, I’m up for a good fight this week.”

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