Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Vettel hits back over Hamilton's accusation of underhand Ferrari tactics

Vettel hits back over Hamilton's accusation of underhand Ferrari tactics

Indeed, Lewis Hamilton said the resurfacing work at Silverstone since the last British grand prix was the "worst" he has ever encountered.

Polesitter Hamilton bogged down at the start, dropping him to third and putting him under pressure from Raikkonen on the approach to the Village complex.

This gave Bottas the lead of the race and track position over Sebastian Vettel, while Hamilton got ahead of Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen. He was 0.093 seconds faster than Ferrari's Raikkonen and 0.642 better than Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Raikkonen was then all over the back of Hamilton's Mercedes gearbox, and the Finn locked up at the right-handed turn three and slammed into his opponent.

In addition to the in-race time penalty, Raikkonen had two penalty points added to his race licence to put him on five for the last 12-month period. Vettel, who had assumed the lead into the first corner following Hamilton's leaden getaway, was the clear beneficiary.

In Q2, lap records tumbled as the leaders clocked times inside Hamilton's 1:26.600 past year, Vettel leading the way until Hamilton, on softs, took over again despite a grassy excursion at Becketts.

Lapping well around the 5.891-kilometre course, Hamilton soon moved into the points and was 25 seconds off Vettel by lap 9, with the German 5 seconds ahead of Bottas at the front.

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Vettel he admitted he feared he would miss qualifying with a neck complaint, and though he went on to earn second on the grid he confessed to still being a little anxious going into the race. "So that's fine. I deserve it, I took the 10 seconds and kept fighting".

"It felt good on the laps to the grid so I took some [padding] off", said Vettel.

The appearance of the safety auto on the 33rd of 52 laps, after Sauber's Marcus Ericsson crashed, was greeted with a huge cheer from the 140,500 crowd and was just what Hamilton needed to close the gap.

The fact that Hamilton is only eight points adrift after 10 races is remarkable, considering that Mercedes have only won three times so far in 2018.

"The fans have been incredible this weekend and I'm grateful for the England football team at least doing great this weekend and keeping it positive", said Hamilton. "I will not give up, believe me, I will not give up".

"I would struggle to be that precise to take somebody out". "I think my car's broken", said the defending champion as he reconciled himself to a charge through a field shaken by the opening lap incidents. "Nevertheless we knew it was going to be very hard in the end".

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