Hamilton self-critical: "Vettel passed me like I wasn't there"

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Just like a year ago, Lewis Hamilton was on pole with Sebastian Vettel alongside him.

"I'm not saying that there's anything illegal on".

"Trick is just a word for something special".

His remarks, later partially withdrawn, reflected a degree of disbelief within Mercedes at Ferrari's superior pace.

"Trick is just something that helps you bring that extra bit of performance, that's all I mean". Although this was initially interpreted as an implication of cheating, Hamilton was quick to say he was not suggesting anything illegal was going on with Ferrari's engine -- pointing out that "trick" is often used in motorsport to refer to an advantageous part or upgrade that other teams do not have. I looked in the mirror, tried to see him.

"They have got a few trick things going on in their auto", Hamilton said in defeat.

Lewis Hamilton made no efforts to hide his team's deficit against its arch-rival, insisting Mercedes has been on the back foot for several races, with favourable circumstances masking its relative weakness.

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said Ferrari were very innovative and he had faith in the governing body to police things. "It is the slow speed, it is the traction".

"Both drivers delivered good performances but neither of them had the vehicle under them to do more today; we have some work on our hands in order to take the fight to Ferrari in Monza and the remaining races this year".

"When asked if he took any confidence from the performance of Honda at a power-dependent circuit, he said: "[Honda] need to make a step. "We won't find any performance that is suddenly going to add three tenths to the auto, or to the engine, and we disappear into the sunset".

"It is a completely human nature that if you are being outperformed on track then you are hopefully looking at yourself", said the Austrian.

"If you haven't got an explanation, you're trying to imagine all the nasty things", he admitted.

"Everybody will try to innovate and will try to find additional performance and they, as far as I am concerned, are doing the right things". They have a great group of people who are on top of things and control each and every team.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Technical Director James Allison was under no illusions of where his team was following the Belgian Grand Prix, admitting that Scuderia Ferrari were not only the faster team, but were able to pull away on both tyre compounds.

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