Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Raikkonen just "messed up" in Hamilton clash, says Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton GETTY Lewis Hamilton is line to receive a bumper new contract to stay at Mercedes
Kristopher Love | 10 July, 2018, 11:26

Sebastian Vettel won an action-packed British Grand Prix at Silverstone yesterday to increase his Formula 1 championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to eight points.

Prior to Sunday's race Silverstone had become something of a fortress for Mercedes, with a run of five consecutive victories dating back to Nico Rosberg's surprise victory in 2013. "Our position is that we are happy to take on a manageable risk, but not an unreasonable one".

He was whizzing round the circuit while Harry Maguire had nodded England's football team in front in Russian Federation, and Hamilton has promised to jet out to Moscow if Gareth Southgate's side reach the World Cup final next Sunday.

"Just got wheel spin and lost ground to the others and then just got a tap from behind and that was that", Hamilton said.

"That's how it goes sometimes".

"It was my mistake, so that's fine". Speaking after the race, Raikkonen admitted he "deserved" the penalty. "At least I would struggle to be that precise in order to take someone out. That's how it goes".

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.

Ferrari and Red Bull both took the chance to change their tyres but Mercedes opted to leave their drivers out on the track.

Vettel believes Ferrari's victory and improvement at Silverstone, a track where they have been thoroughly dominated by Mercedes in recent years, shows that they have a well-rounded 2018 auto.

"Who is incompetent? Kimi?" This belief was affirmed as Bottas defended against Vettel for lap after lap, fending him off time and again at the Brooklands corner. "It's tiresome to be taken out on the first lap". Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen then made a move to try to get around Hamilton for third.

Bottas led the race at that point, followed by Vettel and Hamilton, but Vettel managed to sneak past and into first place in lap 48, earning his fourth win of the season.

The appearance of the safety vehicle on the 33rd of 52 laps, after Sauber's Marcus Ericsson crashed, was greeted with a huge cheer from the 140,500 crowd and was just what Hamilton needed to close the gap. "Valtteri was pushing like insane". 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.

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"The race was fantastic. What an awesome day".

Football might be coming home, but the F1 title might not.

Force India's Esteban Ocon was a quiet but excellent seventh, as Fernando Alonso passed Magnussen in a fiery late fight to finish eighth.

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