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Vettel and Ferrari bid to 'kill magic' of Hamilton and Mercedes

13 July, 2018, 05:10 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
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Lewis Hamilton has accepted an apology from Kimi Raikkonen for their British GP crash and acknowledged the first-lap collision "was a racing incident".

Hamilton fought his way back from last place to finish second after Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen collided with his Mercedes on the opening lap.

Hamilton would run third with Raikkonen taking advantage of a mistake by Verstappen to take P4 on the Hangar Straight.

Hamilton and Raikkonen approached Village together but the Finn locked up and slid into the side of the Mercedes, spinning the reigning World Champion, who dropped to the rear of the field.

The Englishman clearly blamed Raikkonen, who was handed a 10-seconds penalty, for the crash and found it hard to face the Finn or accept an apology.

While Hamilton was left exhausted post-race his title rival and British GP victor Sebastian Vettel appeared to have a bigger physical scare on Saturday.

Vettel made a cracking start from second place to beat Hamilton to the first corner.

But he surged back into contention and thanks to the safety vehicle being deployed on two occasions late on in the race surged into second place.

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"It was my mistake so that's fine, I deserve it".

Carlos Sainz was a shock Q1 casualty after the Renault driver encountered traffic on his final qualifying lap, meaning he qualifies 16th just ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren.

The German's 51st career race win gave him an eight-point lead over Hamilton in the championship.

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.

Ferrari is now 20 points clear of Mercedes in the constructors' championship after 10 races of 21.

Hamilton added: "All I would say is that it's two races in which a Ferrari has taken out a Mercedes". Last of the remaining runners in 18th was the best the Russian could manage.

"I gave every bit of energy I had, I didn't have anything left when I came in". I'm really really happy, ' the German said. But I mean, I want to give them a message: "it's been a lovely 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".

Later asked if he was "comfortable" with the incident, Wolff replied: "I'm not comfortable at all with the incident because it's tiresome to be taken out in the first lap".

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