Ferrari crashes "deliberate or incompetence" - Mercedes

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Ferrari crashes
Jonathan Noble
By: Jonathan Noble
Jul 8, 2018, 3:26 PM

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suggested Ferrari’s opening-lap collisions with his drivers are either ‘deliberate or incompetence’ after Lewis Hamilton was spun around by Kimi Raikkonen at the British Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, celebrates in Parc Ferme
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 in the Press Conference
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H leads on lap one as Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 spins
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, spin to the back after contact on the opening lap
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09

Just two races on from Valtteri Bottas being hit at the French Grand Prix by Sebastian Vettel at the first corner, Raikkonen made a mistake at Silverstone and clouted Hamilton at Turn 3 - earning himself a 10-second penalty.

Although Hamilton recovered well to finish second, Wolff was far from happy about seeing his team facing a fightback again through no fault of its own.

Asked by Sky for his view on the incident, Wolff said: “A racing incident. Unfortunate because Le Castellet first time we got taken out and now it is the second time we got taken out.

“It is a lot of constructor points. In [technical director] James Allison’s words, 'do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?'. So this leaves us with a judgement.”

Wolff’s questions about Ferrari come after Hamilton also dropped a hint that there could be more behind the first corner clashes.

“Our team did an amazing job this weekend, we have so much support and so much pressure for us all,” he said.

“Interesting tactics I would say from their side, but we will do what we can to fight them and improve in the next races.”

Strategy call

Although frustrated by the first period of the race, Wolff said Mercedes did the right thing at the end in not changing tyres during the first safety car period, even though it left Valtteri Bottas exposed in the lead.

“I think it worked because we gained track position,” he said. “At the end we had a two and four, and that was better than where we were running before.

"I think it was absolutely the right call. Nevertheless we knew it was going to be very difficult in the end.”

 

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