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Ferrari boss attacks Mercedes as Hamilton backtracks
10 July 2018, 11:26 | Charlene Valdez
Chasing history Lewis Hamilton aiming for an unprecedented win no.6 for Britain at the British Grand Prix
Hamilton started in pole position, but Vettel streaked ahead, and his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen compounded Hamilton's misfortune when he bumped into the British driver, sending his Mercedes off the track and leaving him last.
Speaking after the British GP, it was clear that the Turn 3 collision remained on Hamilton's mind.
Although not yet announced, it is now common knowledge in the paddock that the four-time world champion has signed up again for 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, Hamilton who missed a chance of a sixth straight victory in his home race sent a message to his fans. The opening race in Australia is also due to take place one week earlier so that the sport will not have to cram in three consecutive grands prix.
"At least I would struggle to be that precise in order to take someone out".
Hamilton also acknowledged the fanatical F1 supporters at Silverstone on a scorching hot afternoon.
"The rear of the vehicle was moving around a lot, particularly with the left-handers and obviously I had been hit on the right".
"It was a hard race, but I gave it everything and I'm grateful to make it back up to second".
However, Bottas felt he could have challenged Hamilton for a front row start. "In France I lost my wing so I screwed my own race", he said. It's always easy to judge these things in hindsight, but at the point we made the call to stay out I was on the same page.
And I think Lewis has his engineers to thank for the second place finish. "Our position is that we are happy to take on a manageable risk, but not an unreasonable one". But after yesterday's very close qualifying session, it was encouraging to see the underlying pace of the vehicle - and that we had better tyre usage than our competitors.
"When something like that happens, there's going to be speculation but to me it just looked like a racing accident", he said.
The most recent of which took place in Austria when the Mercedes' pit wall, led by chief strategist James Vowles, failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car period, which resulted in Hamilton dropping from first to fourth.
A late collision between Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen left the Dutchman limping toward the finish but the former was able to hold on to fifth.
However, Mercedes boss Wolff says that the team wants him for even longer. It is so close, which I love, but the goal is to be ahead by the end.
Hopefully his swift apology will calm tensions between his team and Ferrari, which have largely been stoked not by him but by something repeated by Toto Wolff.
"There is everything still to play for and we will have to be at our very best as a team if we wish to come out on top".
"It looked very tight at the front on Friday and so it proved in qualifying: it needed a very good lap from Lewis to put the vehicle on pole and, save for an error in the final corners, Valtteri would have been just behind".
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