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Whiting amused as Ferrari speed puzzles Mercedes

Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel after storming the Belgian Grand Prix © AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, Aug 27Race Director Charlie Whiting said he was ‘amused’ by Lewis Hamilton’s post-race reference to ‘trick things’ that may have helped title rival Sebastian Vettel power his Ferrari to a convincing triumph in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Speaking in the aftermath of Sunday’s spectacular and crash-hit race, the sport’s senior racing official said he and the ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), were aware of all the performance elements of the Ferrari car that, as Hamilton put it, blew his Mercedes away.

“That particular comment doesn’t actually say anything,” said Whiting.

“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 them.”

“I’m quite amused by it really,” he added. “Because 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 and Mercedes have got to try and counter that, haven’t they?”

Hamilton, who leads Vettel by 17 points in the title chase, made his remarks immediately after Sunday’s race in which he finished second, 11 seconds adrift of Vettel, and later made clear he did not wish to insinuate that Ferrari were doing anything irregular or illegal.

His Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff said it was frustrating to be so clearly out-powered and out-performed, adding that he had total trust in the FIA to ensure fair and law-abiding competition.

“It is completely human nature that if you are being outperformed on track then you are, hopefully, looking at yourself and then at your competitors – and if you can’t find an explanation then you try to imagine all the nasty things,” said Wolff.

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“But I have no information and I have real faith in the FIA. They have a great group of people who are on top of things and control each and every team.

“Everyone tries to innovate and to try and find additional performance, but they (the FIA), as far as I am concerned, are doing all the right things.”

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