February 18, 2019

Lewis Hamilton accuses Ferrari of dirty tricks

09 July 2018, 02:26 | Anna Jefferson

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel celebrates with his trophy on the podium after finishing third

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel celebrates with his trophy on the podium after finishing third

In a race with two late safety vehicle periods, reigning champion Hamilton went from pole position to the rear of the field before finishing second for Mercedes in a superb fightback.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari were the big winners, while Lewis Hamilton's afternoon went awry in what was an eventful race on a sunny afternoon at Silverstone.

Hamilton wasted little time in scything his way back up the order, putting Mercedes' significant pace advantage over the midfield runners to good use to rise back up to sixth by the end of Lap 10. Hamilton's vehicle was turned around, leaving him down in P17 and over 20 seconds down on title rival Vettel by the time he had rejoined the track.

"Obviously at the third corner I locked the wheel and was behind the vehicle so ended up hitting Lewis on the rear corner", said Raikkonen.

"I think my car's broken", said the defending champion as he reconciled himself to a charge through a field shaken by the opening lap incidents.

"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".

Hamilton ended up 17th while Raikkonen received a penalty, but high-speed crashes and Safety Car appearances ensured both still had a chance of victory.

Sebastian Vettel, who re-takes the championship lead after winning at Silverstone, called the accusations of deliberate Ferrari sabotage "silly".

The safety vehicle was out again after Romain Grosjean and Carlos Sainz collided. The decision promoted Bottas into the lead ahead of Vettel, with Hamilton third and Max Verstappen - also on fresh softs - fourth ahead of Raikkonen.

"I lost almost three kilograms to get back to the top today for you and my team".

"But I believe it's nothing more than a racing incident".

"We've got to work hard as a team to try to lock out the front row and make sure we're fully ahead of these guys". "Interesting tactics I would say from their side, but we'll do what we can to fight them". "I barely had any energy at the end to stand let alone talk", Hamilton wrote.

The 59-year-old said: "The reason Lewis didn't talk to me in parc ferme is he wanted time to go and calm down before he had to talk to us. Without the mistakes and the penalty it would have been better, but I tried".

Bottas' woes continued as both Hamilton and Raikkonen were able to pass in the two laps that followed as the Finn struggled on his Medium tyres, leaving his teammate to take the fight to Vettel in the closing stages of the race.

He was soon up to 16th and by lap nine he was eighth, but some distance from Vettel, who led Bottas by six seconds on lap 12. Force India is now a point clear of McLaren, which drops to seventh, two points behind fifth-placed Haas.

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