Mercedes ignites war of words with Ferrari over British GP incident

Annette Crawford
July 13, 2018

Hamilton was spun round at the first corner by Vettel's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, but turned in a masterful display, and took advantage of two safety vehicle periods to finish behind Vettel. Both spun and rejoined, Hamilton after running off track.

He fell to 16th but recovered to second, ahead of Raikkonen who completed the podium.

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the British GP at Silverstone in a thrilling Q3 shootout to be beat Sebastian Vettel by just 0.044s. And so for the second week running, the quickest vehicle, Hamilton's was not the one leading the race. The Swede was unhurt and climbed out to applause from the crowd as a Safety Car was deployed. On cue, Marcus Ericsson lost it through Abbey on lap 33. It was one stop or nothing for them.

"I lost almost 3kg [in body fluids] trying to get back to the top for you and my team", he said, addressing his 6.7 million followers on the social media platform. "You're have the quickest vehicle by a mile", he was told by race engineer Pete Bonnington. "My view, I did the best that I could, but there seems to be opposite looks of what I'm doing unfortunately".

Vettel leads Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by a single point after nine races. A safety auto was deployed and luckily the Swede walked free after his crash.

"Honestly, to get back to second it's huge for us and I will definitely take it, of course, and I'm happy with the drive that I did".

After the Sauber wreckage was cleared, the race resumed only for Romain Grosjean to collide with Carlos Sainz at the high-speed Copse corner.

Hamilton let Bottas, with fresh tyres, pass on lap 23 in an attempt to chase down Vettel over the remaining 29 laps.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also wondered whether the incident, that sent Hamilton into a spin before he fought back to second at the finish, had been deliberate or simply a sign of incompetence.

The reigning F1 world champion then put in a stunning middle sector on his final Q3 lap to post a 1m 25.892s - setting a new lap record in the process - to squeak ahead of Vettel and secure pole, the Ferrari pilot failing to improve on his final tour. In F1 folklore as written by former McLaren leader Ron Dennis, second was always first of the losers.

The fact that Hamilton is only eight points adrift after 10 races is remarkable, considering that Mercedes have only won three times so far in 2018. It's always easy to judge these things in hindsight, but at the point we made the call to stay out I was on the same page.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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