Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton not concerned with growing old after Belgium win

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Like fine wine, Lewis Hamilton has confidently claimed that he feels like he is getting better with age.

The three-time world champion took to the tarmac for the 200th time in his career as he held off championship rival Sebastian Vettel to win a tense race in Belgium.

By doing so, Hamilton cut the German's Championship lead to just seven points in what is proving to be the most thrilling title race in many a year. 

Of the current crop of drivers, only Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, and Kimi Raikkonen have competed in more races than Hamilton, but the Brit declared himself to be "still young at heart", stating that his performance at Spa showed he was always improving.

"What's comforting is, I'm 200 races in and stronger than ever," the 32-year-old, who won his first Formula 1 title nine years ago, told Sky Sports.

"They say you probably get worse with age, but I think it's the other way round. I feel pretty good."

On a weekend in which Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's tally of pole position starts, the Briton also became only the fourth driver to win his 200th race.

Hamilton admitted that there is still work to be done, however, with this week's race at Monza essential to his chances of overcoming a resurgent Ferrari and winning a fourth world championship title.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff echoed those sentiments following the Belgium Grand Prix.

Wolff was unpleasantly surprised by how close Vettel came to beating Hamilton, on a track that was not expected to suit the Ferrari.

"We were surprised," Wolff said. "They have done a good job in bringing an upgrade package that works.

"This is a track that shouldn't suit them, like Silverstone, and they were much closer than expected.

"We just have to keep our development scope steep and continue to bring bits on the car and deliver faultlessly."

Meanwhile, it seems that negotiations between Hamilton and Mercedes regarding a new deal have been shelved until the end of what is a rather "intense" season, according to Wolff, who felt there were more important matters to attend to between now and the end of the year.

"Our relationship is very good and each of us appreciates what they have in the other one," Wolff continued. "But this is not a topic we want to take now over the remaining races of the season.

"It's an intense last third of the year and we will get that over the line and then pick up the discussion."

With eight races remaining in the season, the epic tussle for the World Championship title is set to go right down to the wire.

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