Lewis Hamilton insists his Ferrari power unit comments do not suggest Mercedes’ main rival is doing anything outside of the rules after losing out to Sebastian Vettel in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Vettel overtook Hamilton at the start of the race on the run to Les Combes and then was able to pull a big enough gap to retain the lead after an early Safety Car restart. Immediately after the race, Hamilton said Ferrari has “a few trick things going on in the car,” but he later clarified he is not suggesting they are illegal.
“No, we all have trick things on our cars,” Hamilton said. “Trick is just a word for something special, I guess … Just something special. I don’t know [about legality]. 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. 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. 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 outperformed 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.”
And Hamilton says the Ferrari performance is even more notable given the fact that Mercedes introduced its own new power unit at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.
“Well, we came here with a pretty good upgrade and, I mean, generally, every time we do bring an upgrade they bring a bigger one. But we knew they were quick on the straights. 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.
“It’s just power. They’re able to deploy more, somehow, than us, from Turn 1 to Eau Rouge, and then it carries on down the straight. And it’s the same down the back straight. I’m not really sure how but that’s how they are.”