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"Stay classy" warns Ferrari boss Arrivabene following Mercedes claims


If the 2018 Formula One World Championship was missing one important element it was "needle".

As at the start of 2017, nobody likes to see the protagonists slapping one another on the back and congratulating each other.

No, what everyone - particularly the media - wants is a good guy and a bad guy, and Sebastian Vettel's silliness in Baku last year ensured that both roles were filled.

Despite the competitiveness of this year's championship, with three teams and six drivers all in with a shout, it was still lacking that 'nasty' element again.

Then, in the moments following yesterday's podium ceremony, Lewis Hamilton provided it.

"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."

Immediately the "interesting tactics" comment was seized upon, for the Briton's frosty demeanour in the ante-room before the ceremony, where he avoided any contact with Kimi Raikkonen, with whom he has clashed at the start, was noticeable.

Shortly after, Toto Wolff added further fuel to a fire that was now beginning to smoulder.

"First time we get taken out, now today is the second time we get taken out, that's a lot of constructor points," said the Austrian.

"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."

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda appeared to share a similar view.

"The accident was unfair basically," he told, "because it's the second time a Ferrari hits us in the first corner, and it's not funny. But that's the way it is."

"It was wrong when they gave Vettel five seconds," he added, referring to the penalty meted out to Vettel following his first corner clash with Valtteri Bottas in France. "At least now they gave Kimi 10 seconds at least. The stewards realised what's going on here."

Speaking to Sky Italia, Maurizio Arrivabene reacted to Allison's comment, in a move which will ensure the row takes centre stage when the championship resumes next week in Germany.

Arrivabene, who usually avoids the TV cameras as much as possible, actually sought out Sky Italia to voice his disgust at the claims.

"I came here to clarify, if he actually said something like that, he should be ashamed of himself," he began, referring to Allison's deliberate or incompetence comments, "because he worked many years in Maranello, he took quite a bit of money from Maranello as well, today he's doing his job, you have to be elegant and know how to lose.

"We're here in England," he continued, "sometimes they want to teach us how to be gentlemen, he should start first. Really, this annoyed me so much.

"Incompetent, who Kimi?" he added. "Who is he to judge what a driver is doing in the car, I can accept it from Jacques (Villeneuve) because he's been a driver, but that person? No.

"First of all, he should look at the telemetry and understand that his driver, unfortunately for himself, had a bad start, so having a bad start he immediately lost two positions. Kimi had a good start, we have the telemetry data, so he found himself immediately on top of Hamilton.

"I want to remind everyone that in China we had a situation between Vettel and Verstappen and nobody said anything, all fine. But I mean, I want to give them a message: it's been a beautiful battle, a battle that I think the audience appreciated, there will be other battles where most likely Mercedes will win, this is a lesson for us to stay classy, a thing that they haven't done today."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.


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1. Posted by Peter Rickitt, 10/07/2018 16:48

"I share Sr Arrivabene's disappointment at the Mercedes' reaction.
I am used to Hamilton's sulks when he loses and to Niki Lauda's always combative behaviour - and accept it, as that is how they are, but do not condone or respect them for it, but Lewis will one day grow up and Niki will one day think before shutting up.
What does surprise me is that Toto Wolff has voiced a charge of deliberate collision - I always thought him to be a fair, honest and reasoned individual, albeit impassioned as his fist-slamming demonstrates: his charge is not his or Mercedes class and style - he should apologise to Arrivabene and withdraw his remarks.
That action would reaffirm his and Mercedes class and style.

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 10/07/2018 15:26

"@DavidB - I rather think that unmolested by 'Kareless Kimi ' Hamilton would have had a decent crack at Vettel, who when pushed is prone to error....

So now the only way to avoid being hit by incompetent drivers is to start first & stay there?

This thesis is a trifle flawed though:
What about when you start 1st, but the guy who is 2nd or 3rd decides to make an impossible move, and smashes into you? That's your fault for starting in front of an idiot, perhaps?

What about if you start 1st, blast off without incident and are then 'taken-out' by some chump doing an over-ambitious move? Presumably your fault too, as if you hadn't been there he wouldn't have hit you.....

I know F1 has deteriorated of late, but at the minimum surely we should expect that the (supposedly) 'best drivers in the world', have the skills necessary to avoid unecessary contact more often than not? Otherwise any interaction whatsoever with other cars and drivers invites a 'Racing Incident'.

Whatever happened to 'racing', 'overtaking', sportsmanship?"

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3. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 10/07/2018 11:03

"imejl99: "Lewis unconsciously revealing own mindset, interesting tactics". Interesting comment. Contamination contaminates. Now Mercedes is bleating: "get me a crane to lift me out of my own doo-doo, sorry I mean gravel...""

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4. Posted by David B., 09/07/2018 20:14

"I always thought that Mercedes was a class organization. But their reaction to the racing incident in turn 3 at Silverstone would suggest otherwise.
The best way to avoid racing incidents in the beginning of the race is to get out in front and stay there. Hamilton qualified first, but lost positions at the start putting him at risk for contact and racing incidents along with rest of the field. The issue for Mercedes was Hamilton's poor start relative to Vettel and Raikkonen. He lost two places and was under pressure, instead of being out in front, when the incident occurred. Had the incident not occurred, given his start, he would probably finished in the same position.
If Mercedes is looking to put the blame somewhere, it should be on Hamilton's start which, was uncharacteristically, sub par."

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5. Posted by jcr, 09/07/2018 16:09

"This incident has shown the true class (or lack of) in the whole Mercedes operation.
And particularly Toto Wolff.
Toto was very clever (is,nt he always) in hanging James Allison out to dry.
"I never said it sir, it was him who said it "
This is the second time in as many weeks,
that a team member has been pinpointed for a problem,
Whatever happened to We win as a team, And lose as a team ??
Class ?? A Disgrace to the brand.

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6. Posted by -ape-, 09/07/2018 13:47

"Hope Ferrari stay classy if they don't get anymore that much more money than the other teams after 2020 "

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7. Posted by HoosierDaddy, 09/07/2018 12:43

""now today is the second time we get taken out".

Taken out? I guess it was like when the witch turned someone into a Newt but they got better. Yes, it was bad that an F1 Champion can't avoid slamming into another one in the first lap. But taken out? Lewis finished higher than he was running when he was "taken out". "

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8. Posted by Rock Doc, 09/07/2018 12:19

"Wow; Mercedes are really showing how much pressure they are on this year. Ferrari win in the mind games as well then.

Mercedes still has the fastest car, but they have not translated it into points like they expected. They obviously don't like not being in control of the game.

The story of Silverstone 2018 should have been Lewis's great drive from the back to snatch 2nd or 3 teams battling in the final laps where anyone could win. WE saw some awesome racing yesterday.

But no the we have this trash. Well I guess that is what the media was looking for."

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9. Posted by imejl99, 09/07/2018 11:19

"Lewis unconsciously revealing own mindset, interesting tactics? One can plot tactics in France were to slightly slow car behind so there is nowhere to go but into the car beside? 2 threats with one disguised, hard to prove move? "

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