Lewis Hamilton is not expecting his McLaren team to be as strong as in the last two races at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, despite having fought on top in Hungary and Valencia.
The World Champion scored his first victory of the season in Hungary and then finished second at the European Grand Prix yesterday after having started from pole position. Yet despite McLaren's resurgence, Hamilton is aware that the characteristics of the Spa circuit make it unlikely for him to be able to repeat his performances.
"I don't think we'll be as competitive as we've been at the last few races, because Spa is a circuit where you need a lot of downforce," Hamilton said on his official website on Monday. "I think Brawn, Red Bull and even Ferrari will be fast there – it's a high-speed circuit and Ferrari has always been very quick there, so I'm expecting Kimi to be quick. It should also suit the Red Bulls because it's very high speed and flowing and they have great downforce.
"But, like most races these days, it's going to be very competitive. For ourselves, we need to ensure that we are competitive without KERS, so that when we use it, it will give us the advantage that we need."
The McLaren driver, however, said his morale has been boosted thanks to the giant leap taken by McLaren since the start of the season.
"Before the recent upgrades, we'd have been hopeful of getting into the top 10 but now we're regularly hoping for a win or to finish second – and that's a big difference and very encouraging," he said.
"We're definitely strong again – but we're not fastest. With KERS, we are there or thereabouts but we still lack two or three tenths to the Brawns. Hopefully we can make some further changes to our aerodynamic package – Spa will be an interesting test for us."
And Hamilton insisted he was not upset following the pitstop error at the Valencia race, saying Rubens Barrichello simply had better pace.
"I'm not frustrated. We've been finishing close to last all year so to just finish second is great - it's my first second of the year, so I'm quite pleased. We win and lose as a team – simple as that. There are some races where there will be a problem with me on the track and some races where there will be a problem with the car or the pit stop.
"The fact is that we have been extremely quick – it was always going to be a very tight fight with Rubens, but he just had the overall pace to win. Our car can't match that – at the moment."