Vettel dismisses Mercedes claims as "silly"


In the wake of comments made by Lewis Hamilton following today's British Grand Prix, suggesting that Kimi Raikkonen's first lap clash with the world champion was deliberate, race-winner Sebastian Vettel has dismissed the claim as "silly".

The incident at Turn 3, which saw Raikkonen collide with the Briton sending him into a spin which dropped him to last, follows a similar clash in France in which Vettel hit Valtteri Bottas at the first corner.

Speaking on the podium today, Hamilton said: "Interesting tactics, I would say, from their side, 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."

Shortly after, team boss Toto Wolff 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."

Reacting to the comments Sebastian Vettel told reporters: "Things can happen, but I think it's quite silly to think that anything that happened was deliberate.

"I would struggle to be that precise in order to take someone out," he added. "In France I lost my wing so I screwed my own race.

"It's easy to attack and have a great move, and easy to have an incident," he continued. "I only saw it briefly, and I don't think there was any intention. I find it a bit unnecessary to even go there."

"Things happen sometimes," added teammate Raikkonen, who had taken responsibility for the clash and accepted the time penalty he was handed. "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."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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Published: 08/07/2018
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