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Tricks of the trade? Hamilton worried by Ferrari extra speed

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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) Moments after the end of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton walked alongside the Ferrari of winning driver Sebastian Vettel and peered inside the car.

It was only a quick glance, but comments made by Hamilton shortly afterward revealed his concern at where Formula One rival Ferrari’s extra speed on the straights is coming from.

“They have got a few trick things going on in the car,” the British driver said in a trackside interview.

Asked later to clarify his comments, Hamilton was keen to distance himself from sounding suspicious, or suggesting Ferrari has infringed the rules in any way.

“I’m not saying it’s anything illegal. Trick is just something that helps you bring that extra performance … Please don’t twist my words,” Hamilton said. “We all have trick things on our cars. Trick is just a word for something special, I guess. I don’t know what’s on their car, so I couldn’t say (if it is illegal or legal) either way.”

Although Hamilton finished 12 seconds behind Vettel in second place, that margin was made larger by the fact Hamilton eased up in the closing laps because he knew he could not catch Vettel and was saving the engine for races ahead, starting next weekend at the Italian GP in Monza. Following that, Ferrari has another fast track well suited to it at Singapore.

“We might struggle to match them there (in Singapore),” said Hamilton, who leads Vettel by 17 points with eight races left. They are both chasing a fifth F1 title to move level with Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio.

Heading into this weekend’s race at Spa, nestled in the Ardennes Forest, both Ferrari and Mercedes had brought upgrades to their cars. But Hamilton sounded confused why Mercedes is slower than Ferrari.

“We came here with a pretty good upgrade, and I mean generally every time we do bring an upgrade they bring a bigger one,” Hamilton said. “We knew they were quicker on the straights. We’ve known for the last four races so they’ve had some things in their car to enable them to be quicker on the straights. We’ve got to work harder, I guess.”

Although Hamilton seemed to distance himself from his initial “trick” comment, he continued to query where the power comes from.

“In both stints he had a little more pace than me,” Hamilton said. “They deploy (more) power somehow than us. Not really sure how, but that’s how they are.”

Vettel, who was sat next to Hamilton in the post-race news conference, responded calmly when asked if his car has extra power.

“I hope so. I hope we have more power. That’s what we’re working for. We’ve been making progress the last two years (so that’s) good news,” the German driver said. “I wouldn’t disagree in terms of power this year we are closer (than last year) … It’s good to see we are making progress.”

Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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