Monday, 24 September, 2018

Ferrari accused after Hamilton crash 'It's either deliberate or incompetence'

Lewis Hamilton GETTY Lewis Hamilton is line to receive a bumper new contract to stay at Mercedes
Sergio Cook | 11 July, 2018, 06:08

Sebastian Vettel won a thrilling British Grand Prix for Ferrari on Sunday to deny Lewis Hamilton a fifth successive home victory and move eight points clear at the top of the Formula One standings.

The race was neutralised again moments later for an accident at Copse between Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean, when Sainz attacked on the outside but Grosjean suffered a wobble at the apex. "Sometimes we talk nonsense and we learn from this".

The takeaways from the weekend are Ferrari beat Mercedes at a track that should suit the Silver Arrows much better than the Prancing Horses, and that Hamilton will sweat blood in order to claw back the championship lead from Vettel, who now has 171 points to the Briton's 163.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton lost the lead off the line at the start of the British Grand Prix, which also contributed to his getting spun around by Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel and Raikkonen were brought into the pits at once, which ensured they were back on track on fresh tyres. Ferrari now lead the constructors' standings by 20 points, proving their greater consistency as a team over 10 of the 21 season races so far.

Nico Rosberg says that the engine is what is making the difference at Ferrari this year.

"It looked very tight at the front on Friday and so it proved in qualifying: it needed a very good lap from Lewis to put the auto on pole and, save for an error in the final corners, Valtteri would have been just behind". The clutch release on the 2016 vehicle 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.

Finland's Raikkonen, who was handed a 10-second penalty before finishing third, admitted he had made a mistake, while Vettel said it is "quite silly" to think there was anything deliberate. "You have to be elegant and know how to lose".

Just a week after a major update at Mercedes helped the German auto manufacturer deliver a pace change in Austria, Ferrari's own developments appeared to make the difference at Silverstone.

"He (Allison) should be ashamed of himself because he worked for many years at Maranello", Arrivabene said. "A thing that they haven't done".

Screengrab shows Hamilton's Mercedes going into a spin, a split second after Raikkonen's left front wheel bumped his right rear.

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda added: "The race was incredible. The neck held up and that was a race I enjoyed a lot and I think the people enjoyed a lot".

"There is a desire within Liberty to see a street race in London and in an ideal world we would be fortunate enough to have both", Red Bull boss Christian Horner told reporters last week.

'It's true that they are very strong around here and we expect them to be very strong tomorrow, but I hope we can be there and I hope we can be close.

Lewis Hamilton on track at Silverstone ahead of the 2018 British Grand Prix.

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