Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Ferrari’s car “tricks” are not illegal – Hamilton

2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he was not implying Ferrari’s Formula 1 car is illegal by describing it as “trick”.

Hamilton said the team has “a few trick things” on its SF71-H in the post-race interview after finishing second to Sebastian Vettel in the Belgian Grand Prix. He was describing how Vettel overtook

“He drove past me like I wasn’t even there on the straights,” said Hamilton when describing how Vettel passed him at the start of the race. Hamilton tried to re-pass Vettel at the start.

“I think I could have [passed him] but again he would have sailed past me on the straight,” he said. “They’ve got a few trick things going on in the car. I did what I could, we did what we could and we’ve just got to keep working.”

However Hamilton said later he does not believe Ferrari’s car is illegal. “We all have trick things on our cars,” he said. “Trick is just a word for something special, I guess.”

“I’m not saying that there’s anything illegal on [it],” he added. “I’m just saying we all have something trick.

“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.”

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018
Hamilton couldn’t live with Vettel on the straights
Both Mercedes and Ferrari brought upgrades for their power units this weekend. “We came here with a pretty good upgrade and 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.”

Ferrari are “able to deploy more [power], somehow, than us, from turn one [La Source] to Eau Rouge, and then it carries on down the straight,” he explained. “And it’s the same down the back straight. I’m not really sure how but that’s how they are.”

Sebastian Vettel did not indicate whether he believes Ferrari’s engine is more powerful.

“I hope we have more power,” he said. “That’s what we’re working for. If that’s the case then obviously well done to our engine guys.

“I think we’ve been making progress, especially the last two years, so, that’s good news.”

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Keith Collantine
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134 comments on “Ferrari’s car “tricks” are not illegal – Hamilton”

  1. Hamilton always has a snide comment to make when things don’t go exactly his way. It is usually carefully measured – probably coached by his PR team – so that he can dodge aside any criticisms his comment might generate.

    1. LH was past easily by SV on 1st lap i think because his own car is slower at that time. As you can see even the 2 force India too, look easily and almost, overtake both LH and SV if the straight is longer. SV almost lose his 1st place to 1 of the force India car.

    2. I dislike Hamilton when he opens his mouth. Snide, I disagree. Surprised, yep that one.

      His championship rival powered past him. Why? Lots of factors. Bodywork, engine, timing, slipstream etc. Maybe Lewis was too cautious. Maybe the wind was slightly wrong. Maybe there was too many pink cars in the rear view mirror.

      Or maybe after years of being in an untouchable car someone else caught up.

      If the Force India’s beat him to the line he would have said the same thing.

      1. You shouldn’t be surprised. He does this near enough every time he’s beaten. After all these years, he still can’t handle it without being underhand.

    3. Hamilton always has a snide comment to make

      Snide comment?! He basically said that Ferrari have done a good job. Anyone who has been involved in cars over the last few decades should understand it was not “trick” as in tricky/underhanded/illegal, but in the same ways as someone has “tricked out” their car.

      Some people just always want to see the worst in Hamilton. While I find he is often arrogant and can behave poorly when things god badly for him, this one is just scraping the barrel for something bad to say about him.

  2. If you ask me: “How would a politician or barrister express the improvable, alleged cheating by a competitor” it would sound close to what Lewis said :p

  3. When he wins it’s him, when he loses its the cars

    1. I said exactly this in a text to a Hamilton super fan friend of mine.
      He was such a baby about being overtaken on the straight, unbelievable after having the best engine for 5 years straight.

    2. Not a Hamilton fan by any means but he literally thanks the team for all their hard work pretty much every single time he wins..

      1. To make up for the years he berated them.

    3. What driver doesn’t do that? I honestly can’t remember a driver once taking blame for anything in the years I’ve watched motorsport.

      1. @darryn – actually they often do. If they crash, because of an error of their own, they often say “Sorry, guys!” over the radio to the team. Not to promote Vettel, but he did last time, when he from the lead in the wet crashed out unprovoked, just because he made a driver error. Regarding Hamilton, I think he is impressive in the way he absorbs and embraces the “suck” and maximizes the available points also in races, which goes bad for him. This is why it will be difficult for Vettel to haul him back in – If Vettel and Hamilton each wins 4 of the remaining 8 races, and Vettel is second in the races he don’t win, then Hamilton must have at least one DNF for Vettel to catch him. In 8 races a DNF seem more probable to happen for Vettel than Hamilton, unless Mercedes has a reliability issue. I think Vettel needs assistance from Kimi to take points from Hamilton as well to get back into the lead. But today Hamilton looked to take the situation quite serious – If Ferrari and Vettel are that much faster on the straight for the rest of the season, it will be difficult for Mercedes to win more races this year.

  4. According to Hammy, Ferrari had engine “tricks” in Belgium and used “interesting tactics” in France.

    At least he’s not outright accusing them of cheating with illegal traction control as he did to RBR throughout 2013.

    1. At least he’s not outright accusing them of cheating with illegal traction control as he did to RBR throughout 2013

      Quote or you are lying

      1. He never said it directly but implied it. This is a quote from him about the Red Bull after the 2013 Singapore GP

        “the last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was 2007 when we had traction control.”

        1. So hang on you are telling me

          outright accusing them of cheating with illegal traction control as he did to RBR throughout 2013.

          Outright accusing them of cheating
          Throughout 2013

          Actually means that one time he said the phrase traction control in a sentence that was vaguely related to Red Bull

          … and you wonder why people don’t take you lot seriously.

          For the record he didn’t even imply it there, you just inferred it. All he was saying was the drive-ability of the RB/Renault was the best he’d seen (a view that was pretty widely held), as good as when they had traction control.

      2. Quote or you are lying

        must be fun having a discussion with you ;)

        1. Nothing wrong with discussions but I think you might want to buy a dictionary if you think outright lying and claim it as fact is a discussion ;)

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            26th August 2018, 21:19

            Judging by your previous comment, you’re not just fun, you’re the most fun.

          2. Judging by your previous comment, you’re not just fun, you’re the most fun.

            I am

      3. Quote everything Hamilton has ever said to prove he didn’t, or he did.

        1. That’s not how proof works, back to school with you! :)

  5. Regardless of the slant or implication of Hamilton’s comments, I would love to see an in depth analysis of exactly where Ferrari is strong and any insight into how they’ve managed to improve so much. That car is fast!

    1. I’m sure Hamilton’s comments are based on the analysis of his engineers, they would have analyzied the Ferrrari runs if only to get an idea of where they are strongest, and now that compared in previous races/seasons.

      Normally when you build a car you are making tradeoffs between power, weight, aerodynamices and reliability. Ferrari seem to have a very real advantage from no where, and the questions is how are they doing this? The last time Ferrari had a significant advantage, it applied to their qualifying pace, and then the FIA caught up and they suddenly had to stop that ‘trick’, with no public explainations on what it is they were doing.

  6. When Mercedes was dominating their engine was a “marvel of engineering”.

    When Ferrari does it, it must be some kind of “trick” or cheating. It’s unthinkable that Ferrari just has the faster engine now.

    1. Read the article, he made adequate efforts to say that he is not implying that they’re cheating. And that goes for many others on here. Trick would simply mean something that the others don’t have, yet.

      1. What he has done is re-define the word ‘trick’ to suit his statement via Mercedes PR.
        Trick can be a noun, adjective or verb as follows
        Noun: 1. a cunning act or scheme intended to deceive or outwit someone
        2. a skilful act performed for entertainment or amusement.
        Adjective: intended or used to deceive or mystify, or to create an illusion.
        Verb : cunningly deceive or outwit.

        The word you were looking for is ‘better’

        1. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/trick

          specifically #5 #6 #25

          he hasn’t redefined anything. your understanding of the word is just too narrow. move along , nothing to see here.

          1. Yeah, Hamilton was definitely implying this rather than anything devious.

          2. 1. a crafty or underhanded device, maneuver, stratagem, or the like, intended to deceive or cheat

    2. Of course its a ‘trick’, the way Oil Burning is/was a ‘trick’, or having a special button on the steering controls to enable this mystery function, is/was a ‘trick’. This time though this ‘trick’ seem legal enough for Ferrari to share with all those using the same engine, and so one has to assume this ‘trick’ falls within the FIA rules.

  7. Hopefully Scarbs will do a piece sometime soon on what he thinks Ferrari are doing. fascinating times and great for the sport imho

  8. Neil (@neilosjames)
    26th August 2018, 19:17

    “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.”

    Too late, but hopefully they’ll move onto the next thing before it gets boring. Or rather, too boring.

  9. it’s amazing how the Hamilton haters will jump on anything coming from him as a reason why he is unlikable. Trick is another way of saying cool. So he’s saying Ferrari probably have some really cool things in their engine or car. I’m sure Hamilton would have considered their Party Mode as trick. Get over it people.

  10. I mean, saying someone has a few tricks up their sleeve, for example, doesn’t mean they’re cheating, it means they’re doing well. Not really sure where the cheating links have come from.

    1. @hugh11 some people have wild imaginations. i understood what lewis meant with the tricks comment but some take it to new levels.

    2. ‘tricks up their sleeve’ comes originally from cheating in card games; hiding some good cards in your sleeve :P

      1. Exactly… A trick is a trick as it has always been, something illusory or unreal and ultimately fake. A trick being solely something good or special is an uncommon abstraction and really shouldn’t be defended as proper English.

    3. Sorry to be this blunt but you came from a distant planet in last 10 days? :) Why do you think Ferrari was specifically targeted by FIA with specific instruments in their car? Because Mercedes requested they be verified, the suspicion has been spouted by Mercedes since Ferrari started to get good results this year.
      So when the Mercedes lead driver says “tricks” the narrative is already established.

      1. The other teams are probably just as suspicious, only it makes little difference to them, Ferrari (and Mercedes) would still be ahead.

    4. He didn’t say tricks up the sleeve though, that is entirely different, that does imply cheating. Tricks, in an automotive sense means tuned or modified.

      LH even qualified it by saying they all have tricks, just different ones, so again, his intent is not to imply Ferrari are cheating, just that they have different and perhaps better tricks than Mercedes etc do.

      1. BlackJackFan
        27th August 2018, 4:15

        As Mrfill clearly explained above, ‘trick’ clearly implies (very strongly) cheating/deception.
        It does not change its meaning “in any other sense” – including “automotive”…! Lol.
        Meanings of words can change over time, and lexicographers are constantly checking these things. But words do not change just because it suits an individual, nor a group of like-minded individuals.
        Whatever HAM really meant here is irrelevant to a debate about the meaning of ‘trick’.
        None of us really knows what HAM actually meant so we can only ‘discuss’ our opinions, if you can call that a discussion. But a discussion about the meanings of words is ultimately determined by dictionaries.

        1. BlackJackFan
          27th August 2018, 4:18

          But maybe I’m just showing my age here… Lol.

    5. They come from the fact that Hamilton has, time and again, made post-race statements to belittle this opponents’ victories.

      1. MrFills explanation is not applicable though. Taking a dictionary meaning of a word when being used by kids these days does not makes sense does it? When my daughter came home saying something was lit I had not no idea what she meant. And when someone like Hamilton, who uses the lingo, wants to relate to young people or people who use the vernacular of a group of people he wants to, or feels he wants to relate to, he will use words in that context.
        We do know his intent and he qualifies it himself. We are talking about cars here, not cards, you being blinkered by the “d” does not make you or your summation correct.
        In this term trick does not mean deceit, it means it has all the bells and whistles or doodackies, if that is a word you can relate to. Special options, like Mercedes go faster button, are what I believe he would refer to as tricks.
        I’m not a fan boy either, I’m just seeing his comments as something he would say in his lingo and not taking it at face value.

        1. I think you replied to the wrong comment. What’s this ‘blinkered by the ‘d” thing?

  11. This was an interesting read from the round up article this morning about where some of that Ferrari power is coming from: http://classic.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/138254

    1. “calorific value of the fuel” gave me a laugh…

        1. Used to hearing about calorific content in relation to food…

          1. The measure it the same way – set it on fire.

    2. Hm… that is interesting. It seems like Ferrari can run the higher engine modes longer than Mercedes.

    3. Thanks for the link.

      So have Shell been working exclusively with Farrari to develop their engine / fuel efficencies?
      Or could it be the timing of this new fuel formula allows other ‘tricks’ to take place with this as the explaination.

  12. He drove past me like I wasn’t even there on the straights

    And then Ocon with his Racing Trick Force India passed him as well :P

    1. Racing Trick :D

  13. It’s amazing that there’s around 20 comments so far and every single one of them is completely wrong.

    Firstly, he said trick not tricks. There’s a massive difference there as even I know “trick” is slang for something being good/cool.

    Maybe it’s an age thing but growing up it was common for me “trick wheels mate” “those shoes are trick” etc it doesn’t mean they contain tricks… It means they are trick.

    This has gone over everyone’s head but what’s more sad is even when he explains it people still get it wrong..

    Quoting “tricks” in the headline when he said “trick” for click bait is also pathetic. You know it’s been a poor race when race fans brings out the click bait..

    1. I think that’s a pretty rare definition, no English dictionaries cover it, not even urban dictionary… If he said something like, “their car is trick” then yeah, you could imagine him meaning it, but “trick things going on” pretty much implies as said, the things that are going on are tricks, not trick…

      1. Even so, but he still explained it and you still didn’t get it.

      2. as Wooolfy1 stated this is how he was using “trick”, shorthand for the “tricked out” and yes its in the urban dictionary -> https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tricked%20out too much about nothing with his comment. the minute I heard it, I came here to see if it would be taken as meaning for something else. Like Wooolfy1 is saying anyone young enough should have gotten it, my 12 yr old knew exactly what he meant.

        1. I’ve got 60 years on your 12 year old but I still understand the meaning of “trick” to be “clever” not “cheating”.

          1. @hohum – you beat me on years (just) yet I also understood “trick” to mean a clever solution, something complex or fiendishly innovative.
            A trick solution is usually something to avoid in my field (software engineering) as it is what we would call a “smell” – Okay, I’m simplifying a bit here.
            Language is a wonderful thing.

          2. @tribaltalker, hmm, a “smell” as in VW?

    2. This has gone over everyone’s head but what’s more sad is even when he explains it people still get it wrong

      Ah but you see people do that deliberately just so they can have a go at Hamilton

    3. he said trick not tricks

      You’ve taken one word he used out of context and misrepresented what he said.

      As noted in the article, Hamilton referred to “a few trick things”, i.e. more than one trick, i.e. “tricks”, so the headline is completely fair.

      Hamilton set the record straight about what he meant and the article reflects that.

      1. so the headline is completely fair

        Unfortunately not.

        At best it is a disingenuous pluralisation given that it changes the meaning. The problem is however you quoted it, making it a fabrication as he never said tricks.