Kimi Raikkonen admits he deserved a penalty for his collision with Lewis Hamilton at the start of the British Grand Prix but dismissed Mercedes’ suggestions that the incident could have been deliberate.
Hamilton was unhappy after being tapped into a spin by Raikkonen at Turn 3, with the Ferrari driver locking up and hitting the right rear of the Mercedes after Hamilton had dropped from first to third off the line. Speaking immediately after the checkered flag, a typically unconcerned Raikkonen accepted responsibility for the incident.
“Going into the third corner I locked the wheel and hit Lewis in the rear corner,” Raikkonen said. “He spun, my bad, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Not a straightforward race. It was my mistake so I deserve the penalty. That’s how it goes.”
Following Hamilton’s later implication that Ferrari is using “interesting tactics” at the start of races — having hit Mercedes cars at the start in two of the last three races — Raikkonen added: “Things happen sometimes.
“Funnily enough you start blaming us for doing it on purpose but I locked the wheel, unfortunately we touched and we both paid the price for it and that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s easy to say after the last couple of races that we’re suddenly doing something against them, but we’ve been hit pretty many times also, so that’s how it goes, unfortunately.”
With the two Ferrari drivers seated alongside Hamilton during the top three press conference, Vettel rebuffed any suggestion that recent contact has been on purpose.
“Well, things can happen but I think it’s quite silly to think that anything that happened was deliberate,” Vettel said. “At least, I would struggle to be that precise, you know, to take somebody out.
“In France, I lost my wing so I screwed my race. I think it’s easy to obviously attack and have a great move and also easy to have an incident. I don’t think… I mean, I only saw it briefly on the monitor, I don’t think there was any intention and I find it a bit unnecessary to even go there.”