Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 24 points in the Drivers' championship. In this picture, Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP waves to the crowd during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium on Aug. 23, 2018. Charles Coates/Getty Images

The Formula 1 summer break is over and the action resumes at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton leading Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championship respectively.

The Silver Arrows team won back-to-back races in Germany and Hungary ahead of the summer break and surged ahead of their title rivals Ferrari. The teams are separated by 10 points while the two drivers are separated by 24 points.

Hamilton’s lead is almost equivalent to a race win, which yields 25 points — the biggest margin a single driver has had this season. Despite the lead the British racer is not in a mood to take it easy and made it clear his only plan was to extend his advantage over Vettel.

The championship pendulum has swung back and forth between the two drivers during the first 12 races of the season. Vettel could have gone into the break with the lead, but his crash from the lead of the German GP ensured his eight point lead before the race turned into a 24-point deficit as Hamilton went on to win in Hockenheim and Hungary.

Many a former driver and F1 expert suggested Vettel might have thrown away his chance to win the title, but the German is confident he can take the fight to the Mercedes driver in the final nine races of the season. Hamilton is also certain he will be under pressure, but is determined not to let the pendulum swing back in favor of Vettel.

“I don’t think I have a one‑race advantage in the sense that I can relax,” Hamilton said Thursday, as quoted by the Guardian. “I still have exactly the same approach as the previous races, so that means extending the lead is the way to go, I don’t want to lose the points that I have. ... We have had times this year when it has gone back and forth but I do not want the pendulum to go back the other way again. So how I stop that is the question in the back of my mind.”

“I guess it is a little bit different when you are eight points behind, because you don’t want to lose any more ground. So I am sure when you do have a little bit of a buffer, subconsciously there is a positive effect,” he explained talking about his lead over Vettel.

Mercedes and Ferrari have introduced their second power unit upgrade of the season. In the first free practice session at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday, Vettel set the fastest time with Hamilton in third place.

Mercedes second driver Valtteri Bottas, meanwhile, will start the race from the back of the grid after taking an engine penalty. The Finn had already used up the allocated number of engine parts and any extra pieces automatically trigger a grid penalty.