Vettel wins, Hamilton second at Silverstone

Grant SmithJul 11, 2018

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.

At the French Grand Prix, Vettel ran into Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas at the start of the race, an incident which forced him to retire.

Emotional Hamilton lashed out and pointed an accusing finger at Ferrari's "interesting tactics" after feeling Raikkonen hit him on objective.

His team boss Toto Wolff went further, borrowing from a conversation with technical chief James Allison, who had asked whether he thought it was "deliberate or incompetence". The clutch release on the 2016 auto also proved troublesome and the team worked hard to find a solution, including modifying the drivers' gloves to give a better feel for the paddle at the start.

"This is the greatest race of the year and this is the greatest crowd and I'm sorry I couldn't bring it home for you today", Hamilton told his disappointed fans.

No wonder, then, that Vettel was so elated on Sunday afternoon at a circuit that had seen Hamilton win for the previous four years and Mercedes for the last five.

"We have two factories at Brackley and Brixworth (in Northamptonshire), so I have an army and Ferrari have an army". Daniel Ricciardo had already made his second pit stop just before the safety auto was deployed and was in sixth place.

"The others pitted under the Safety Car, but we took the risk and stayed out to get ahead of Sebastian".

When finally the race got back underway at the end of lap 41 Vettel and Bottas sparred, with the German applying extreme pressure with his fresh tyres but the Finn getting his elbows out in defence.

Bottas started third on the grid, but was nearly immediately promoted to second thanks to a poor start by team-mate Lewis Hamilton. I am privileged to have had the chance to work with you and continue to think in that manner.

"We saw blistering last week in Austria, so keeping the tyres in good condition is going to be the key tomorrow given the high temperatures".

"Sometimes we say dumb shit and we learn from it".

"At least I would struggle to be that precise in order to take someone out". Perhaps Hamilton, still fuelled with adrenalin after his remarkable comeback drive, can be excused for his comments, but Mercedes really should know better.

Ferrari driver Raikkonen was slapped with a 10-second time penalty for causing the crash, but unhappy Hamilton could not hide his frustration and swerved post-race interviews.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner accused Mercedes of throwing Vowels under the bus, but Wolff stood by their radio call.

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

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