Lewis Hamilton is cutting a downbeat figure at Spa-Francorchamps as he recovers from a summer illness.
“I was refreshed but caught a bug when I got back,” he said, referring to his travels in the US with girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.
The McLaren driver’s gloom was apparently compounded with the realisation that the dominance of the Red Bull team could be set to enter yet another season in 2012.
“It could still be that case for the next year or so that they dominate from early on and we have to catch them up,” Hamilton is quoted by BBC Sport.
“They have had from 2009 almost the same car. It has just evolved in that same design. It has just got better and better.
“We had a terrible car in 2009, we scrapped that car. We built a new car in 2010, we scrapped that car and built a new one in 2011. I think we will have a similar car to this year next year so it should be quicker.
“We can definitely at least halve the gap, and instead of it being half a season (to catch up), it can be quarter of a season,” he added.