After a brief summer holiday, Formula One racing returns on the weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix.
Defending champion Sebastian Vettel goes into the race well-rested after the four-week break. “It feels good to be back after the summer-break.” The Red Bull driver said that he spent much of the break in the water. “It was really warm.” The 25-year-old, who is lying third in the championship after 11 of 20 season races, said before the break that he would use the time to think about the things he could do better this season.
His last win dates back to four months and seven races (he won the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 22) and if he is hoping to secure a hat-trick of titles, he will need to up the pace.
He is already 42 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, who is on 162, and two behind his Australian team-mate Mark Webber.
Alonso, who has never won in Spa—Francorchamps, has thrown down the gauntlet as he seeks a third world championship. “We will be two hundred per cent ready on the weekend.” If the Spaniard manages to finish in the points on Sunday, the Ferrari driver will equalize Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive point-finishes, which the seven-time world champion achieved between 2001 and 2003.
The last time Alonso finished outside the points was in June last year at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Alonso, who is the only driver to have won three races this season, is clearly the driver to beat. “He is outdoing himself,” said Schumacher, who himself is hoping for a good result in his 300th race.
“Somehow Spa has always been important throughout my career. It is pure coincidence that it is Spa where I will be competing in my 300th race, but in a way it was also to be expected.