F1 Business Diary: British Grand Prix

Dean Simpson
July 11, 2018

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel landed a blow in the Formula One world championship by winning rival Lewis Hamilton's home British Grand Prix in a dramatic Silverstone race on Sunday.

But the race was dominated by a third-corner collision between Hamilton and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen that sent the Brit to the back of the field and led to accusations of skulduggery after the chequered flag.

Hamilton was on a charge from the first lap, back up to seventh after nine laps but still 26 seconds behind his fellow four-time world champion.

The race was neutralised again moments later for an accident at Copse between Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean, when Sainz attacked on the outside but Grosjean suffered a wobble at the apex. Sometimes we say dumb s*** and we learn from it'.

Their fierce rivalry on the track spilled over into a war of words in the paddock as Lewis Hamilton railed against what he called "interesting tactics" after a Ferrari collided with a Mercedes for the second time in three races at Sunday's British Grand Prix.

While Vettel, Raikkonen and Max Verstappen headed into the pits under the safety auto for soft tyres, Mercedes chose to keep both drivers out on track. However, Bottas began to chip away at Vettel as the Ferrari struggled with its tyres; the lead was down to 4.8sec when Vettel stopped on lap 20 with Bottas following him a lap later. A late move on Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, after two safety cars, then confirmed his 51st career victory. I am privileged to have had the chance to work with you and continue to think in that manner.

Hamilton's drive was remarkable; the two safety vehicle periods helped him, but there aren't many drivers in Silverstone's 70-year history that could have recovered as Lewis did.

"But for some reason on Sunday we didn't quite have what we expected and as soon as you get the wheelspin you lose traction and that lost him places quickly".

Instead, Mercedes suspects the complaints over the team radio early in the race were triggered by how bad the vehicle felt in the turbulent air of other cars.

"He (Allison) should be ashamed of himself because he worked for many years at Maranello", Arrivabene said. Sometimes they want to teach us how to be gentlemen. "A thing that they haven't done". Ricciardo's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen was battling with Raikkonen but his race ended at lap 48. "It was a racing incident and nothing more".

Hamilton's £40million-a-season contract extension, which will rubber-stamp the driver's status as Britain's best-paid sportsman, is due to be announced.

"In the end, he was just 44 thousandths ahead of Sebastian - and Valtteri could have been right in the mix as well, apart from a mistake in the last corners that cost him over two tenths".

The way in which the break clause was announced and subsequent briefings did not go down well with Formula One's new owners Liberty Media, who have taken a very different approach to Ecclestone's.

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