Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Mercedes ignites war of words with Ferrari over British GP incident

Lewis Hamilton PALewis Hamilton has been offered a £250m contract by Mercedes
Frederick Owens | 12 July, 2018, 13:55

Hamilton started from pole but dropped down the field after a collision, the Mercedes man eventually finishing 2.2sec behind Vettel with the second Ferrari driver, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, rounding out the podium.

Here's our main takeaways from Silverstone. This is the fourth German victory in the season and 51st in his career. If can do this then expect him to win a fifth world title.

But Hamilton was not happy despite his fine comeback drive. Starting on pole, the Briton had a slow start and went from first to third within the first two corners.

That left him vulnerable as Raikkonen clipped his rear tyre sending him into a tailspin off the track and into last place.

Hamilton charged back into the points by lap six and was into sixth four laps later, by which time he was already more than a pitstop behind the race leaders.

"I think it's quite silly to think that anything that happened was deliberate, at least, I would struggle to be that precise, you know, to take somebody out", Vettel told reporters at Silverstone. But doing the opposite was the choice we went for and at the end it brought us a P2 and P4 and I think considering how the race started, we need to accept the result as an acceptable outcome with real damage limitation.

Mercedes decision not to bring Bottas to pit under the safety auto cost another podium place for one of their drivers. But if Carlsberg did second places...

However, for another week, the team kept him out and he subsequently surrendered the lead on lap 47 with his tyres wearing.

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Vowles spoke to Lewis Hamilton, his words heard by millions of television viewers worldwide, after a tactical error dropped the Briton from first to fourth when a virtual safety auto was deployed.

The top three teams were out quickly for Q3, Hamilton breaking his record on his first run only for Vettel to beat that by 0.057 seconds in 1:25.936 with Bottas and Raikkonen third and fourth.

"The safety vehicle spiced it up", said Vettel, wearing supporting tapes on his stiff neck.

More frustration followed on Turn Three when Raikkonen locked up and crashed into Hamilton, leaving the reigning World champion to rejoin the contest in 18th position. But if drivers like Vettel are getting off lightly it shows a lack of consistency from the stewards when incidents do occur. This allowed the Brit to cop the Driver of the Day award.

Marcus Ericsson, who was sitting in the points at the time, spun around at 190mph before hitting into the wall.

"Every time the auto stops in an uncontrolled way, where a failure happens and the system is then shut down in a manner that is unusual, the vehicle can suffer all manner of unknown gremlins", he said.

Charles Leclerc meanwhile was forced to retire on lap 20 due to a suspected loose wheel following a pitstop.

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