Lewis Hamilton has accused Ferrari of “interesting tactics” after being hit by Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton struggled to get away from pole and fell behind the Ferrari driver. When he tried to pass Raikkonen to reclaimed third, Raikkonen locked up and collided with the Mercedes. Hamilton dropped to the back of the field, forcing an eventful climb up to second before the chequered flag.
“Interesting tactics, I would say, from the other side,” he said on the podium. “But we’ll do what we can to fight them.”
He expanded further in the post race press conference, where race winner Sebastian Vettel sat between him and Raikkonen.
“All I’ll say, there’s now two races the Ferrari have taken out one of the Mercedes.
“A five-second penalty and a 10-second penalty doesn’t feel… it’s a lot of points Valtteri and I have lost in those incidents.
“Obviously it’s a racing incident and I can’t see behind me. We need to position ourselves better so we’re not exposed to the red cars, because who knows where they are going to be.”
Both Ferrari drivers rubbished the comments, with Vettel claiming it was “silly” to make the suggestion.
The second defining moment of Hamilton’s race came when a late safety car called for a strategy decision. Ferrari and Red Bull both opted to pit their cars for fresh tyres, but Mercedes chose to keep its cars out until the end of the race.
At the time, Hamilton appeared to disagree with the decision, saying that he was struggling with tyre wear, but he backed the choice in the post race press conference.
“The guys pitted in front of me. That was an opportunity for me to get up into third. I think it was the right decision.
“If I’d followed them in I would have come out behind them, we’d have equal tyres and I would have struggled to get by them, and most certainly wouldn’t have been second. These guys would have pulled away. So I think it was 100 per cent the right decision, particularly on my car.”
Hamilton now falls to eight points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel with 10 races remaining.