Sebastian Vettel had to 'surprise' Valtteri Bottas for British GP lead

Sebastian Vettel had to 'surprise' Valtteri Bottas for British GP lead

Raikkonen, who completed the podium for Ferrari, was handed a 10-second penalty for the early incident involving Hamilton, but the Finn acknowledged that he deserved it. In [Technical Director] James Allison's words "do you think it was deliberate or incompetence?' This is where it leaves us with the judgement". So I was nervous I had lost part of my floor or something because the vehicle was moving for unknown reasons, but then it started to get better and better, after some tweaks to the settings.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: "You probably can't ask for anything more from a qualifying session than to have three cars within a tenth of a second at the front". The ace of Mercedes eventually recovered from the mishap and finished second in the race.

Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas led and might have won but for a second safety vehicle, after Renault's Carlos Sainz and Haas's Romain Grosjean collided, that kept the front four nose to tail and only fractions apart.

"What we need to discuss among all of us is if certain incidents occur and they have a massive outcome in terms of what's happening maybe around the race win and what the consequences would be, that's a different story".

It was Hamilton that drew first blood at the United Kingdom track, claiming pole position ahead of the Ferrari's of Vettel and Raikkonen, Bottas followed in fourth as the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo locked out the third row of the grid.

A glum and terse Hamilton said immediately after the race: "Interesting tactics, I would say, from their side but we will do what we can to fight them and improve in the next race".

But despite the lure of life away from motor racing, Wolff believes Hamilton, fastest in opening practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday, could remain in the sport until he is 38. "I had the advantage of the tyres, but it was not easy to find a way through". The comments directly after the race on Sunday were a clear indication of how much those 52 laps had meant to him and how painful the defeat had been.

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"It is a lot of constructor points", Wolff said.

Hamilton and Mercedes will renew their rivalry with Ferrari at Vettel's home race in Germany a week on Sunday.

A recovery drive at Silverstone from Hamilton saw him climb the field to second to limit the distance between himself and Vettel as the German took an eight-point lead at the top of the drivers' standings.

"It was a super start, a super race and, yeah, a hammer finish", Vettel said. "I don't think there was an intention and l think it's unnecessary to even go there".

"This is the greatest race of the year and this is the greatest crowd and I'm sorry I couldn't bring it home for you today", Hamilton told his disappointed fans.

"Thank you for loving me for being with all my flaws", the 33-year-old wrote on Instagram.

Stewards imposed a five-second penalty after ruling that the Toro Rosso driver had caused a collision with Perez and gained a place as a effect of his actions. "Sometimes we say dumb s*** and learn from it".

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