Formula 1

Hamilton's rear wing was seen behaving strangely at low speed.

Slow-motion footage of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes raises Ferrari suspicion

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After Lewis Hamilton suggested Ferrari has a few "tricks" on their car following the Belgian Grand Prix, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has drawn attention to a strange phenomenon seen on the Briton's Mercedes.

As the championship battle between Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel gets ever more intense, it is unsurprising that every last avenue to gain a possible advantage is being investigated including queries over the legality of parts on each other's cars.

It has been going on for much of the year, with the FIA trying to decipher if an innovative battery design in the Ferrari is allowing them to circumnavigate the restrictions on power and energy storage from the ERS.

Ultimately, everything was deemed permissible but that hasn't stopped the suspicions from carrying on, something that probably led to Hamilton's little comment, however, the Scuderia's latest claim came from video footage during the weekend at Spa.

In final practice on Saturday, a slow-motion shot of Hamilton riding the kerbs at the Bus Stop chicane saw the rear wing swaying quite dramatically from side-to-side.

Though just a result of strong vibrations that pass through the cars when travelling over the aggressive kerbs, Sky Italia produced a compilation comparing it to the Ferrari, Red Bull and Sauber at the same corner.

The difference was noticeable and has led to questions over whether the amount of flexing is within the margins the FIA allow.

It is a slightly unique claim with most wing flex arguments aimed at the main elements which can be designed to bend in such a way that they reduce drag and allow for better top speed.

Instead, this is the endplates and main support, but even those could be designed in such a way to flex and provide optimum performance through the corners, where the airflow is not directly down the centre of the car.

Mercedes typically have the edge on Ferrari in medium-to-high speed corners

Commenting on the footage, Ferrari boss Arrivabene didn't accuse Mercedes of any rule-breaking but simply pondered if the governing body would be taking a look.

“That’s the FIA’s job, not ours,” said the Italian as to whether any investigations would be done.

“We are already busy to answer all the questions they ask us every race. But yes, we noticed it. Let’s see if also the FIA will notice it.”

The off-track battle between Mercedes & Ferrari is just as fierce as the one on it

The rear wing topic wasn't put to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for comment, although the Austrian has acknowledged that, after Spa, his team has ground to make up on Ferrari.

“When I look at the race, I see many deficits,” he was quoted by Crash.net. “We’re a strong team and but there are deficits which are obvious, which cause us not to perform as we expect.

“The deficits, you can see the deficits, it’s a slow speed [corners] and it’s the traction. This is what I would summarise as the main weaknesses of the moment.

“They [Ferrari also] have a power advantage,” he said. “We have seen that in qualifying, that power advantage is at various parts of the straights. You can see even if the corner exits are worse than ours, the engine keeps pulling."

Topics:
Maurizio Arrivabene
Sebastian Vettel
Max Verstappen
Sauber
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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