• IN WORDS: I Truly Trust And Believe In My Guys - Lewis

Lewis reflects on a Belgian battle and the challenges that still lay ahead in 2018...

'I truly trust and believe in my guys'

He gave it his all on Sunday but just couldn't get close enough to the charging Ferrari out in front. So, how does Lewis assess the team's chances heading into the next few races?

"It's definitely going to be very tough going into the next race. Ultimately, Ferrari just did a better job all weekend. It's difficult to say how they've done a better job - it's just that they were faster, simply faster. If you look at last year they were faster here also, and we just managed to hold them behind.

"Their power is obviously a lot better than it was last year. They sailed past us at the start and their overall pace was stronger, I couldn't match it. Naturally, that's not great for us - but I'm hoping we'll be better next race - maybe the deficit isn't as big as it was here. I'm hoping that our package suits that track a bit better than it did here.

"In Singapore last year I think they were on the front row, so that's probably going to be the case there. But there are still other races that we can be particularly strong. It's at the point where we just have to maximise our weekends and capitalise if we're not quickest

"We have done that in the previous two races before this. We capitalised on some of their misfortune and just doing a better job in the circumstances. The pendulum has swung a little bit. I would say the last two races in particular we just did a better job.

"The cards we were dealt with, we did a better job with them - even though they had a better car. We've called their bluff almost. But there's only a certain amount of times you can do that. If you keep playing a deck of cards and you're bluffing, there's only a certain amount of times you can do it before the opponent realises you're doing that.

"We've just got to keep at it. I truly trust and believe in my guys. We all feel the ups and downs together. You can't win them all, but this next run of races is going to be really telling. The next two or three races will really show if they're going to continue to sustain that high performance, or that's more tooth and nail."

'It's going to take the complete team package at 100% to outperform them'

It's not the first time Lewis has found himself embroiled in an intense title fight. In fact, it's something he's became used to at a young age. So, what's it going to take to come out on top in 2018?

"As a kid I started with a really, really old go-kart and I used to beat people who had much better equipment. They would call it a four-poster bed but he [my father] said I could drive anything, so naturally that's what I believe I can eke a little bit more out of it, which I have done in previous races, and beaten a faster car.

"There's only a certain amount that I can do. I can't create miracles and there's going to be times like today when it doesn't work. But there's still eight races to go, there's still a lot of positives to take into those races. We've just got to keep working on the car and understanding the tyres, and try to optimise. We can still beat them at races - I just don't know which ones that's going to be in.

"I don't recall the rest of the season, but in my short memory of the last three or four races I would say, since Austria at least, I've been really happy with the performance. Even today, I held on for as long as I could, so I think the strength is there and the consistency is there, and that's something I want to continue to try to hold onto.

"Qualifying in the dry is something I'm trying to improve on. I think I could have been there yesterday if it had been dry, in terms of getting a good lap. We'll see moving forwards. But you can tell it's going to take the whole package, the whole complete team package at 100% to outperform them. Today Sebastian performed really well and didn't make any mistakes, so he did a great job. We've just got to keep applying the pressure to him."