Lewis Hamilton on song at Spa practice

Spa: Lewis Hamilton produced a bruising practice performance that put even Formula One title rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg in the shade yesterday.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton 

Hamilton, claiming to be rejuvenated and reinvigorated following the sport's summer break, underlined such remarks by comfortably topping the Friday timesheet ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, 11 points adrift of Mercedes team-mate Rosberg with eight races remaining, conjured a time of one minute 49.189 seconds for the seven-kilometre Spa-Francorchamps circuit, finishing a staggering six tenths of a second clear of the German.

Rosberg had edged Hamilton in FP1 by a mere 0.097secs as Pirelli's medium-compound rubber — the slightly slower tyre this weekend — took centre stage.

But come the soft-tyre runs in FP2, Hamilton crushed Rosberg, who ran wide on one of his final hot-lap attempts, scattering gravel over the renowned track.

Alonso third
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third quickest in both sessions, at least suggesting a podium is on the cards on Sunday even if both Mercedes run reliably, which has not been the case of late.

Alonso was three quarters of a second down on Hamilton, and the only other driver to finish within a second of the 29-year-old Briton. Felipe Massa was fourth fastest, but 1.138secs in arrears.

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