Mercedes point finger at Ferrari's 'interesting tactics'


In a controversy-filled British Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel disrupted Lewis Hamilton's home race and extended his lead in the 2018 Drivers' championship.

Despite Hamilton's drive back to second from last, Ferrari's double podium means it has opened up the lead in both championships.

Hamilton has to take some of the blame for the third corner incident with Raikkonen that ended any chance of turning pole position into a fifth straight victory at the former WWII airfield.

"I believe that if we would have had 10 degrees less temperature [in qualifying], maybe we would have had a bigger gap and maybe the same [in the race]".

Asked later by reporters about the comment and whether he suspected the incident had been deliberate, Hamilton only fanned the flames, saying: "All I'd say is that it's now two races that the Ferraris have taken out one of the Mercedes, and a five-second penalty and a 10-second penalty doesn't appear to feel".

"It is a lot of constructor points. We need to position ourselves better so we're not exposed to the red cars, because who knows where they are going to be".

Explaining the move immediately after the race, he said: "I was able to surprise him, I think he thought that I wouldn't dare [to go down] the inside and the braking zone was coming quite fast". The polesitter had already been overtaken by Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas at the start.

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Hamilton's aggressive start allowed Vettel and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to streak ahead. But doing the opposite was the choice we went for and at the end it brought us a P2 and P4 and I think considering how the race started, we need to accept the result as an acceptable outcome with real damage limitation.

"In France, I lost my wing, so I screwed my race".

Vettel he admitted he feared he would miss qualifying with a neck complaint, and though he went on to earn second on the grid he confessed to still being a little anxious going into the race. "But it's tough and there is high tension".

The Mercedes pair then had to make their medium tires last to the end of the race, and a crash between Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean on the race restart saw another Safety Car eat into some of those laps. "You try not to, but sometimes you slip up".

"It felt good on the laps to the grid so I took some [padding] off", said Vettel. "And in a ideal world, I would have had new tires - but it wasn't that kind of day for me", Hamilton said. "I'd be amazed if there was anything untoward behind it".

Raikkonen was also issued with two penalty points for causing the contact.

Stewards imposed a five-second penalty after ruling that the Toro Rosso driver had caused a collision with Perez and gained a place as a effect of his actions.