Lewis Hamilton accused Ferrari of using “interesting tactics” in this season’s championship battle, suggesting his contact with Kimi Raikkonen in the British Grand Prix was deliberate.
Raikkonen was attempting to pass Hamilton on the inside of Turn 3 on the opening lap of the race but locked up and hit the right-rear corner of the Mercedes, pitching the polesitter — who at this point had already dropped to third — into a spin. Aided by a Safety Car period, Hamilton produced an impressive recovery drive to finish second behind Sebastian Vettel, but left parc ferme immediately after the race and had to be interviewed on the podium, where he voiced his displeasure.
“This is the greatest race in the world and this is the greatest crowd and I’m sorry I wasn’t able to bring it home for you,” Hamilton said. “But thank you for all your support. It’s you guys that helped me get through today so we take it and we keep pushing hard. Believe me, I will not give up. I will not give up.
“The team did a great job this weekend and there’s been a lot of pressure on for us all. Interesting tactics I would say from their side but we will do what we can to fight them in the next few races.”
Asked to expand on his comments in the press conference after the race, Hamilton pointed to a similar incident where Vettel and Valtteri Bottas collided at the French Grand Prix two weeks ago.
“All I’ll say there’s now two races the Ferraris have taken out one of the Mercedes. A five-second penalty and a 10-second penalty doesn’t feel…ultimately it spoils the race. It’s a lot of points that ultimately Valtteri and I have lost in those two scenarios.
“And, of course, it is a race situation. I couldn’t see behind me but we’ve just to work hard to try to position ourselves better so that we are not exposed to the red cars – because who knows when that’s going to happen again. We’ve got to make sure that we work hard together as a team to try to lock-out the front row and make sure that we’re fully ahead of these guys.”