Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Spa, 2018

Mercedes have been “bluffing” with recent wins – Hamilton

2018 Belgian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton says Sebastian Vettel’s emphatic Belgian Grand Prix victory showed Mercedes’ wins in Germany and Hungary came against the run of form.

The reigning champion started last weekend’s race from pole position after ran fell during Q3. Rain at the previous two races also tipped the balance in his favour, he said.

“If it hadn’t have rain in Hockenheim we wouldn’t have won, [Vettel] would have won,” said Hamilton on Sunday. “If it hadn’t have rained in Hungary, we wouldn’t have won, he would have won. And obviously he won today.”

Hamilton insisted Ferrari’s improving performance is not a recent development.

“Every time we do these press conferences everyone’s like ‘who do you think is faster, you or Ferrari?’,” he told media at Spa. “They’ve had the upper hand on us for some time.

“The pendulum has swung a little bit I would say those last two races in particular, we just did a better job with the cards we were dealt, even though they had better cards.

“We pulled the bluff, almost. There’s only a certain amount of times you can do that. If you’re playing a deck of cards and you’re bluffing, there’s only a certain number of times you can do it before your opponent realises that you’re doing that.”

Both teams introduced new power units last weekend and Hamilton is concerned Ferrari will continue to match the upgrades Mercedes has planned for future races. “We do have some performance coming but I’m sure they’ll have performance coming,”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

51 comments on “Mercedes have been “bluffing” with recent wins – Hamilton”

  1. Hammy seems at breaking point after half a dozen races where Ferrari has had a slight pace edge.

    I think Vettel’s in his head much like Bottas got in Hammy’s head from the end of 2015 onwards.

    1. Any evidence for that nonsense? No is the answer. Hamilton with his ‘messed up head’ secured pole at Spa in extremely difficult positions, and came in second in the race, the best he could do realistically. That’s after two race wins, including another exceptional pole. So no evidence of ‘breaking point.’

      1. Just an opinion of mine. Based on what I have observed.

        We’re all giving opinions here.

        Vettel did what he had to do Saturday. Sunday is what counts. No point putting your car at risk on Saturday.

        1. I’m simply struggling to imagine what you ‘observed’ given what actually happened on track. The Mercedes driver who seems to be driving more erratically is Bottas – with two collisions in the last race and another at the race start at Spa. Personally I quite like seeing it, the added aggression seems to be an attempt to be more than ‘solid number two driver’ at Mercedes. Hamilton though is driving fine just now, better than earlier in the season, so your argument makes literally no sense.

    2. Utter tosh. On what possible basis can you possibly say that Hamilton is at breaking point? Because he crashed for no reason while leading the German GP? Oh no wait that was Vettel. Because he failed to get pole in the fastest car and got outqualified by his teammate in Hungary? Oh no wait sorry Vettel again. Because he once again failed to take pole in the fastest car in Spa and was on course to be outqualified by his teammate again? No wait that was Vettel again
      Let’s face it Vettel has the better car andbeo far has had much better luck. It’s his championship to lose and yet, currently, losing it he is.

      The suggestion that Vettel is in Hamilton’s head is laughable given how much better than Vettel Hamilton is currently driving.

      But go on I could do with a laugh … What part of Hamilton’s factual response to interview questions state that he’s at breaking point and Vettel is in his head?

      1. You’re kinda posting tosh too. You’re simply a die-hard fan who messes up things on purpose ’cause this is not a tech experts site OR you don’t know almost anything at all about tech side of a car. More exactly: the qualies in Hungary and Belgium took place in wet conditions. Wet conditions can change things completely compared to how they were in dry conditions. “We” already kinda know for at least 100 years of motor racing. The saying “rain levels the field” does not reffer to the drivers’ qualities only, but to the cars too. What I’m trying to say is that there’s no real proof Ferrari was still the best car on wet conditions. It’s the same kind of “mystery” why RBR was the car to beat at Monaco while on the rest of the track they were only good for 2nd at best… and just on few occasions. Not trying to take anything from HAM, but my impression is that Mercedes is the better car on wet conditions.

        1. I think points from both your posts are correct.

          I agree that the Ferrari looks no better than the Mercedes in dry conditions. But I think it’s also fair to say Hamilton has been driving slightly better than Vettel, with fewer mistakes, for a number of races.

          1. Sorry, should say “wet conditions”, not dry!

        2. Nice try MG but both Raikkonen and Vettel said themselves they had the car for pole at Hungary and Spa respectively, unless you’re now going to tell me they’re talking nonsense too? :)

          1. I thought I could fool you with a double-whammy! :D Working on a triple-whammy now…

          2. *whammy interceptors on standby*

        3. The Monaco “mystery” owes to the fact that it is not a power but an aero circuit. Engine power doesn’t count that much whereas aero is more important and a such RBR is widely acknowledged to be the best in this respect.

          1. Monaco is about mechanical grip not aero

    3. Breaking point Anon???

      When I read what Hamilton says, he just mentions that Ferrari have had the faster car for a while now, but Mercedes were lucky/made better racing decisions/made less mistakes that enabled them to win twice and come second once. I think that is pretty accurate.

    4. If anything Hamilton has recovered well after a bit of a patchy start (particularly in qualifying). His driving has pretty much maximised the package he’s had over the last few races, and really showing who’s boss in the wet.

      Drivers are asked these questions constantly, so I don’t think anything much can be drawn from his fairly moderate responses. He’s also apply on in what he says; Merc and Ham have done well to claw out a lead when Vettel has had the superior pace for a few races.

      It’s possible that the situation may take its toll on Hamilton later on in the season, but don’t think there’s much evidence (if any) you can point at now.

    5. ‘Anon’.

      Nonsense as usual from you. He is stating facts. In what way is he at ‘breaking point’?

    6. Cheap Trolling. Try harder next time!

  2. That’s an interesting choice of words. Can Hamilton’s recent victories and pole positions really be called a ‘bluff’? As I understand, bluff means deception but I do not think that Mercedes really deceived Ferrari – it was just that Hamilton took the chance to achieve the maximum after Vettel or Ferrari screwed up. The weather played a part in all this, of course. It is not like anyone really believed that Mercedes had become faster than Ferrari.

  3. He’s behind in the championship, but Vettel has to be considered the title favourite at this stage because not only does the Ferrari look quicker, it looks good everywhere. I don’t see them turning up to a circuit and saying ‘we’re a bit rubbish here because of this characteristic of our car’, whereas Mercedes probably will. And after saying it, they’ll prove they were right and struggle to be third or fourth.

    I’d rather it went all the way, but without reliability issues or a lot of wet weather, Vettel will probably be champion before the final race.

    1. Meh, I think it will go all the way without mechanical issues, how can hamilton be in front of vettel by 2\3 of a win currently with a slightly slower car and 2 off weekends and a mechanical DNF? Don’t underestimate hamilton and mercedes.

  4. I think he doesn’t know what trick and bluff means

    They won when the conditions gave their package an advantage, same thing for Ferrari this Sunday

    1. They won when the conditions gave their package an advantage, same thing for Ferrari this Sunday

      Not really. Ferrari were poised to win the last 3 races, but only won in spa. The rain didn’t give Mercedes the advantage, it just leveled the playing field. The better driver came out on top on those occasions.

      1. Oh yes I forgot Vettel is rubbish, I apologize for that

      2. It’s well known that sometimes cars don’t behave linearly from dry to wet conditions. I think it was in 2012 that the Ferrari was the 3rd or 4th best car for the best part of the season. But in some of the races/qualifyings when it was wet somehow the Ferrari seemed to cope much better with the conditions than say Red Bull and McLaren, both of which had better cars overall during the season. Drivers do the difference, but sometimes the conditions do favor one package over the other. We just can’t properly evaluate how much Mercedes is better in the wet than the Ferrari, or if it is indeed.

      3. The rain didn’t give Mercedes the advantage, it just leveled the playing field. The better driver came out on top on those occasions.

        Idk. It would be a tad hard not to give Newey credit for putting 3 cars in the top 4 at Monza 10 years ago.

        1. @davidnotcoulthard @toiago you guys are bringing facts and logic into a discussion where @todfod points to Vettel’s talents, or better, lack of said abilities, I don’t know if that is worth it considering his distate for the finger boy

          1. @johnmilk

            Dude.. You’re the only one ignoring facts. Maybe keep in mind how Vettel binned it in Germany in the rain, while Lewis climbed himself up from P14 to win the race. Or was starting in P14 a condition that favoured Mercedes… Pfft

            I’m glad you believe your own nonsense of when conditions favour Ferrari, then Ferrari win.. And when conditions favour Mercedes, then Mercedes win.
            Clearly the drivers are meaningless puppets in your ‘factual’ rationale.

          2. @todfod see you made a good point now. Sometimes you have to be pushed to give a factual answer. But that alone doesn’t descredit the two previous comments nor what I said.

            And yes Vettel made mistakes that costed him points. He is still one of the best on the grid regardless.

            But let’s be honest, you don’t like him and at times it shows, and believe me it is a pleasure to read everything you say unless it comes to Vettel and Alonso. I know somedays are tough and we take it on the internet, I do the same, the difference is I hate them all! (I like ypu though)

            Btw go check my comment on the other topic, you will like it.

  5. I’m surprised Hamilton is only just coming to this realization now.
    Ferrari have been so fast and consistent on all tracks, they’ve just failed to secure consistently.
    I’d said it before, Mercedes are ahead but they are the ones who should be panicking.

    1. I’m surprised Hamilton is only just coming to this realization now.

      It would be surprising, only he’s been saying Ferrari are now quicker since much earlier in the season as far as I recall.

    2. Lewis said as much from the beginning of the season. Not his fault that most of us are just seeing it now.
      Methinks it’s beenin many races since last year. Only Vettels mistakes handed Lewis the championship. Of course, in addition to his driving and the car.

    1. @phylyp That is one of the best reactions to what Hamilton said. He certainly shouldn’t be moaning so much, having enjoyed dominant cars like never seen before for 3 seasons in succession. Now that things are getting tricky for him, let’s see how he manages them.

    2. Eheheh I don’t know why people don’t like Horner, the guy has some brilliant comments

      If he was a spice, he would be ginger

  6. Once, just once, I’d like to see him admit he lost because someone else drove better than him.

    1. There are numerous examples, it’s not like he’s never lost to a team mate and held his hands up fair and square that they drove better than him.

      In this race though the Ferrari had an insurmountable pace advantage. Hamilton showed his class in the wet taking pole, but there was no defence to Ferraris speed on the straight. Hamilton gave it a fair shot on the undercut and on the safety car restart, but there’s nothing any driver can do against that level of pace advantage in the dry.

      Vettel drove great, so did Hamilton. It’s hard to compare their drives when the cars weren’t matched though.

      1. Fair enough I suppose.

    2. You should wait for a better opportunity then.
      Guy can’t even say something that’s completely on that someone still has to moan about it. It’s unbelievable.

    3. YellowSubmarine
      27th August 2018, 20:40

      “Sebastian did a great job today and didn’t make any mistakes. We just have to keep applying the pressure to him.”
      https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/45316836

      There, happy now?

    4. Hammy and Alonso have been loath to give credit to Vettel even going back to the Red Bull days.

      1. “Hammy”. Grow a pair, man!!

  7. If Ferrari sharpen up track operations and we have no more rain in quali or race Merc have no chance. Hoping for a few Ferrari 1 2’s and a Hamilton dnf so the title picture is as it should be….a Ferrari driver 50 points in the lead.

  8. @Moi

    Once, just once, I’d like to see him admit he lost because someone else drove better than him.

    Could you please explain which driver in front of him drove better than Lewis in Spa?

  9. Lewis Hamilton says Sebastian Vettel’s emphatic Belgian Grand Prix victory showed Mercedes’ wins in Germany and Hungary came against the run of form.

    Id’e be more inclined to say that perhaps Ferrari have a achieved a better balance at the moment allowing them to properly take the fight to Merc. Hamilton has had 5 race wins and 10 podiums so far this yr, Vettel has had 5 wins and 8 podiums.
    Looking at that the form appears to be pretty equal :).

  10. Wasn’t certain Alonso the one who always said “we finished ahead because I’m the greatest driver ever; we truly don’t have the better car”?

  11. Gosh, these guys are just racers, not philosophers,scientists or great statesmen… Why do we look soooo deep ibto what they are saying or not saying when infact they just answering questions on the fly put to them by reporters… And i too recall lewis saying ferari is the car to watch from testing before this years championship started.

  12. Hamilton has been fighting for the championship for the last what? 5/6 years straight. Whether it was a 2 horse,3 horse race what ever! He has been fighting at the front and that brings its own pressures and expectations. And im not belittling the other drivers who were and are fighting in the midfield. Im just saying at the front theres a different experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.