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Hamilton clarifies "tricks" comment

NEWS STORY
27/08/2018

Not for the first time, in the moments after the Belgian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton appeared graceless in defeat.

Speaking to MC Martin Brundle in the post-race trackside interview the world champion, having congratulated Vettel on his win, added: "I did everything I could in the race, and we ultimately performed quite well this weekend, but he drove past me like I wasn't even there on the straight.

"We've got to keep pushing as hard as we can to try and see if we can catch up," he added.

Asked if he felt he could have "sneaked through" at the re-start, he smiled and said: "I probably could have, but again, he'd just go past me down the straight.

"They've got a few trick things going on in the car..." he smiled, "I did what I could, and we've done all we could, but we've just got to keep working.

Minded the Ferrari's straight-line speed should be useful at Monza, Hamilton merely shrugged and said "Yup!".

Having won 68 (72%) of the 92 races held since the hybrid formula was introduced in 2014, little wonder that when told of the comment, Christian Horner admitted he was tempted to go find his violin.

Hamilton's comment, which comes weeks after incidents at the French and British Grands Prix caused technical director James Allison to question whether they were "deliberate or incompetence", was seized upon by the media and at the subsequent press conference Hamilton was asked to explain.

Asked if by "tricks" he was implying that Ferrari was bending the rules, he replied: "No, we all have trick things on our cars. Trick is just a word for something special, I guess."

"Something special that's legal," he was asked.

"Just something special," he replied. "I don't know. I don't know what's on their car so I couldn't tell you either way."

"I'm not saying that there's anything illegal on..." he added, "I'm just saying we all have something trick. There's probably something trick on…

"Trick is just something that helps you bring that extra bit of performance," he continued. "That's all I mean. I don't mean anything to it so please don't read into it and please don't twist my words and say that I say they're doing anything illegal because they're not. They just out-performed us today and we've got to work harder, but there are things that they have on the car that we might not have on the car and vice versa and we've got to try and find out what and improve on that. That's it.

"We came here with a pretty good upgrade and, I mean, generally, every time we do bring an upgrade they bring a bigger one," he added. "They were quicker, particularly in qualifying in the last sector. We've known for the last four races or so that they've had some things on their car that's enabled them to be quicker on the straights and yeah, we've just got to work harder, I guess."

FIA race director Charlie Whiting subsequently admitted to being amused by Hamilton's comments.

"I'm quite amused by it really," he told reporters. "We know quite a lot about the Ferrari car, and there is no way that Lewis would know anything about the Ferrari car.

"They're doing a good job at the moment," he continued, "and Mercedes have got to try and counter that, haven't they?

"That particular comment doesn't actually say anything," he admitted. "If he says they've got a few tricks going on on that car, clearly they have got some things on the car which are giving it performance, which we're all aware of - all us in the FIA are aware of - and obviously we are happy with."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spa, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul RB, 28/08/2018 12:54

"It's all very well people leaping to Hamilton's defence, suggesting that his comment was innocuous and even, according to some, meant as a compliment, but he does have form in this area. How often do we see him making strange and even crass statements then deleting them, or having to follow up with an explanation, in most cases because his original meaning was obvious? It's the same here; I'm sure he didn't like losing but it goes with the territory and his demeanour was the usual sulky one when things are not in his favour. Clearly he can't help having this attitude (or he'd have got over it by now) but suggesting he was passing a compliment is risible."

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2. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 27/08/2018 14:23

"Big nothing of a story. Everyone knows what Hammy meant."

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3. Posted by Rock Doc, 27/08/2018 13:39

"I think Charlies comment is the most telling. It looks like Ferrari have found the advantage and for the first time in a while and Mercedes are on their back foot.

It's also quite obvious that Mercedes at the moment don't have an answer and are not even sure where to look.

Should be a good second half of the season."

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4. Posted by *TestaRossa*, 27/08/2018 13:10

"Here we go again , whatever Lewis says the haters pick on him . "

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5. Posted by CL, 27/08/2018 12:35

"Exactly my read on it, Mocha. “Trick” is a complement in this context, something special. People with an axe to grind or an advert to sell making a hornets nest out of a dab of honey..."

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6. Posted by Mocha, 27/08/2018 11:29

"OK, maybe it's not a super popular term these days, but "trick" in regards to performance parts on a car, means "upgraded" or "special," with the possible connotation of "one-off." I don't think Hamster ever meant "trick" in some kind of literal "tricking the FIA" sense. Ask any old school hot rodder... "

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7. Posted by Renone, 27/08/2018 11:00

"A classic case of mouth before brain.....its a pity that the ambassador of choice for the sport lacks diplomacy and grace in this situation. Flawed genius or what? "

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8. Posted by gormsen, 27/08/2018 10:03

"Hamilton was beaten fairly and squarely - his comments with regard to Ferrari having a few "tricks" were quite obviously what comes out of the mouth of a bad loser - have we heard Vettel utter such rubbish when LH wins?


"

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