SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Lewis Hamilton is confident he is now in a strong position to challenge for the title after only losing 10 points to teammate Nico Rosberg at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton was forced to start the race from 21st on the grid after a series of engine changes throughout the weekend saw him incur a 60-place grid penalty. By fitting a new power unit ahead of each practice session, Hamilton essentially gave himself a pool of three newly updated engines to use for the rest of the year without further penalty.
By contrast, Rosberg, who took his fourth power unit of the year in Spa, has two engines to see him through the remaining eight races, although he may benefit from an upgrade around the Japanese Grand Prix. Hamilton believes he is now in a strong position to attack until the end of the season and is happy the grid penalty only resulted in the gap to Rosberg shrinking to nine points.
"The good thing now is I have got these engines and hopefully we will have a clean second half of the season," he said. "It has definitely not been the easiest season battling for the title. Today I felt that I got back to my comfort level in driving and so I anticipate taking that into the next race.
"The fight is back on as far as I am concerned. Things have happened in the right way, that second quarter of the season, and to go into the break 19 points ahead and only lose 10 points today, is... well, if someone had said, going into the break that "you are going to lose 10 points in the next race and take three new engines, are you okay with that?" I would have took it. I am very happy with it."
But Rosberg insists he is not comparing the engine situation for the rest of the year.
"I don't think about it in that way, but I'm aware of it yes. But he had the big disadvantage today, so I don't think about it in that way and I'm just focusing on my thing and that's it. I don't think it will make a big difference after this."