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Mercedes hints that incidents are deliberate

NEWS STORY
08/07/2018

Weeks after the first lap clash which saw Sebastian Vettel hit Valtteri Bottas in the first corner of the French Grand Prix, thereby compromising both their races, a fresh incident at Silverstone has caused Mercedes to question whether it is "deliberate or incompetence" on the part of the Ferrari drivers.

At the third corner today, as they battled for third, Lewis Hamilton having made a poor start and lost out to Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen tagged the Briton's right-rear sending him into a spin.

Dropping to last position the world champion subsequently battled his way back to second, entertaining the crowds with a thrilling dice with the Ferrari pair in the final laps of the race.

Missing the trackside interviews at the end of the race, when subsequently interviewed on the podium, Hamilton hinted at his suspicions.

"The team did an amazing job this weekend," he said, "and we've got so much support. There's so much pressure obviously for us all.

"Interesting tactics, I would say, from their side" he added, "but we'll do what we can to fight them and improve in the next races."

Subsequently asked to expand on his comment, Hamilton said: "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 ten-second penalty doesn't appear to feel... ultimately it spoils the race.

"It's a lot of points that ultimately Valtteri and I have lost in those two scenarios," he continued. "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."

In a subsequent interview with Sky Sports, team boss Toto Wolff, looking equally disheartened, said: "First time we get taken out, now today is the second time we get taken out, that a lot of constructor points.

"In James Allison's words," he continued, referring to the team's technical director, "'do you think it's deliberate or incompetence', so this leaves us with a judgement."

Referring to Hamilton's performance, the Austrian said: "P2 was maximum damage limitation we could have achieved, a fantastic drive."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by karel, 09/07/2018 8:47

"for me one thing is strange , Raikkonen gets 10 sec penalty in Silverstone, Last week same thing with Vettel 5sec penalty , why this difference ?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Hobbie, 08/07/2018 23:39

"Perhaps Hamilton made his comment in the heat of the moment. But that Mercedes repeats and elaborates on it is offensive and truly “silly.”
Ferrari and Mercedes are next to each other (first, second, third, and often fourth) at every race. Does not occur to the Mercedes spokesperson(s) that, considering the difficulties of passing another car once at speed, starts are the moment where everybody is trying to pass else and, therefore where most incidents occur? Differently from the midfield, at the top it's always the same two teams and the number of incidents is between them. It becomes easier and sillier to think of an evil ploy— if we add Red Bull to the story and Max taking out Sebastian, it becomes a conspiracy "

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3. Posted by slracer, 08/07/2018 22:50

"Hmmm! Maybe the Ham is comparing what Mercedes (Bottas) did a couple of years ago when he took Kimi out of at least, maybe 3 races? It would put him in a position to better judge such an attempt! And I am sure that knowing just where to hit an opponent and how hard to hit him are especially easy things to figure out? His real problem is that Mercedes screwed up the tactics call twice (which he thinks is a Ferrari problem)!"

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4. Posted by F One, 08/07/2018 19:14

"He was too busy having a tantrum. XD"

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5. Posted by jcr, 08/07/2018 19:02

"Bringing the sport into disrepute, and undermining the stewards, Why was Hamilton not penalised or fined, for missing Parke Ferme TV interview."

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6. Posted by F One, 08/07/2018 18:51

"Throw Merc out of the championship for bringing the sport into disrepute with their ridiculous claims.
They're bitter and pathetic."

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