Mercedes ignites war of words with Ferrari over British GP incident


"The British Grand Prix is one of the four races that featured in the first year of the world championship back in 1950, and we want it to stay there for the long term, as this is one of the true homes of motorsport".

Hamilton, meanwhile, salvaged a second place finish after a collision with Kimi Raikkonen dropped him to the back of the field at the beginning of the race - an incident for which the Finnish driver was handed a 10-second time penalty.

Hamilton had a slow getaway from pole and was beaten into Turn 1 by title rival Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

When asked if he was OK with the Raikkonen/Hamilton incident, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff added: "No, I'm not comfortable at all with the incident because it's tiresome being taken out in the first lap". In [technical director] James Allison's words, 'do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?'. Also incompetent.Who? Kimi? Who's he to judge what a driver is doing in the vehicle?

The usual post-race parc ferme interviews took place without Hamilton, who went to the cool down room to gather his thoughts and process exactly what had happened.

"First of all, he should look at the telemetry and understand that his driver, unfortunately for himself, had a bad start, so having a bad start he immediately lost two positions".

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Emotions spilled over as Hamilton and Mercedes accused Vettel's Ferrari team of effectively cheating their way to victory. I believe that if we would have had 10 degrees less temperature in qualifying, maybe we would have had a bigger gap and maybe the same on Sunday. His Mercedes team gambled by refusing to change the Englishman's tyres when the safety vehicle was first employed, allowing the four-time world champion to partially recover the situation. "Ferrari have got a little bit fortunate in the last couple of races so I hope that we get a few more positive races".

"It was interesting tactics, I'll say, on their side, so we'll do everything we can to fight them in the next race".

Thanks to two safety vehicle periods and a tire strategy that panned out, Hamilton ended up rallying to finished the race in second place just 2.264 seconds behind Vettel.

Reading a text message sent to him by Vowles after the race, Wolff said: "There were a number of unfair comments against you (Wolff) after Austria. I don't think there was an intention and l think it's unnecessary to even go there". "Sometimes we say dumb s*** and learn from it".

Both spun and rejoined, Hamilton after running off track. With Scuderia Ferrari driver Vettel in front, Mercedes made a decision to do the opposite of what Vettel did - ultimately choosing to leave him out, giving him track position but on older, slower tyres. Valtteri was in very good shape on his tyres, and closing on Vettel, who we had seen was more challenged on tyre wear during the race.