Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Mercedes' Lauda: Recent Ferrari F1 mistakes unfair and not amusing

Mercedes' Lauda: Recent Ferrari F1 mistakes unfair and not amusing

Sebastian Vettel opened a clear lead in the drivers' world championship on Sunday when he wrecked Lewis Hamilton's home-race party and claimed an impressive victory in a thrilling British Grand Prix.

That marked the second time in three races that a Ferrari had taken out a Mercedes on the first lap of a race.

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.

"Interesting tactics from this side", said a visibly angry Hamilton on the podium, after staging one of his most stirring recoveries to vault from dead last to second.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "To put it in James Allison's words, this is either deliberate or incompetence". "Who is he [Allison] to judge what the drivers are doing in the auto?" the Scuderia boss told Sky Italia. "It was a racing incident and nothing more".

Hamilton was not without flaws, having thrown away his pole position with over-aggression on the start line, generating wheelspin that allowed Vettel to fly past.

Mercedes and Ferrari's fierce rivalry has become even more tense in recent weeks with Hamilton's clash with Raikkonen not the first contact between the teams.

"We have two factories at Brackley and Brixworth (in Northamptonshire), so I have an army and Ferrari have an army".

"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".

With this win, Vettel increased his tally to 171 points in the overall drivers' classification, eight points ahead of reigning champion Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton has accepted an apology from Kimi Raikkonen for their British GP crash and acknowledged the first-lap collision "was a racing incident".

"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".

"He spun and it was my bad, but that is how it goes sometimes", said Raikkonen. "I would be surprised if there was anything else or if Kimi is that kind of driver".

Speaking after the race, Bottas said that whilst the team gambled for a race win and lost, "one day" they will win that gamble.

Raikkonen held off his Finnish compatriot Valteri Bottas to finish third despite a ten-second time penalty after admitting culpability in his collision with Hamilton.

The Finn stayed out and took the lead at Silverstone, but with older tyres, he was unable to hold on for the race win on Sunday afternoon. "It was not a straightforward race".

Lewis Hamilton on track at Silverstone ahead of the 2018 British Grand Prix. So I was nervous I had lost part of my floor or something because the auto was moving for unknown reasons, but then it started to get better and better, after some tweaks to the settings.

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