Hamilton backtracks while Ferrari boss attacks Merc

Lynette Rowe
July 10, 2018

"I thought "OK, I have to go for it", because I was obviously also struggling... the longer I spent behind him, struggling with my tyres as they got hotter, and losing that advantage that I had a little bit".

Vettel had been hindered by neck pain in the last practice, and wasn't sure if he'd be able to compete in Saturday's qualifying session.

Hamilton recovered to second, aided by Mercedes' decision not to pit him for fresh tyres under a safety vehicle to gain track position, but looked tense alongside Raikkonen while the top three waited to go onto the podium post-race.

"I tried everything to not give up the lead, but there was nothing I could do at that point to defend against the others on the fresher tyres". What's more, Mercedes had taken great pleasure in dominating on Italian soil at Monza in recent years - a track where Ferrari's victory drought dates back to 2010 - and this was seen as payback.

Track position seems doubly significant at Silverstone, where Hamilton is looking to claim a fifth consecutive win at his home race - and sixth overall.

Vettel was left stuck between the two Mercedes drivers as Bottas took the lead.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas also played down the incident and the accusations.

Raikkonen accepted the 10-second penalty for his part in the collision with Hamilton but when the teams take to the grid in Germany on July 22, there will be plenty of engineers holding their breath as drivers tussle for position on the first few corners.

"I can't really comment as I don't know the thought process that went on there, but I do know there was widespread criticism of the leniency of the penalty given in France".

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Was Lewis Hamilton right to lash out at Ferrari and insinuate that the recent incidents that their drivers have caused may have been executed on objective, or did he overreact to the situation involving himself and Kimi Raikkonen?

"We are always racing closely with Ferrari and there can always be contact", he said.

Raikkonen crossed the line ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who had led with only five laps of the race remaining.

However, Bottas felt he could have challenged Hamilton for a front row start.

Ferrari brushed off the complaints, but the gloves are now off between the two teams.

By the safety vehicle restart he was up to third. Ricciardo's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen was battling with Raikkonen but his race ended at lap 48.

Although not yet announced, it is now common knowledge in the paddock that the four-time world champion has signed up again for 2019 and 2020.

"Le Castellet was the first time we got taken out and this is the second - it's a lot of constructor points".

"Everybody brings updates to every race and there is never a silver bullet that provides you three tenths or four tenths, which was the difference between us and Ferrari past year".

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