Ferrari boss attacks Mercedes as Hamilton backtracks

Vettel triumphant in the battle of Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton recovers from first lap crash as Sebastian Vettel wins British Grand Prix

While the stewards were deliberating on the crash, for which Raikkonen was handed a 10-second time penalty, Hamilton was scything through the field, and he required only 11 laps to rejoin the front-running cars in sixth place in time for the first pit stop window.

"I think we need to improve our auto until the end of the year, that will be key because then you have something to fight, and if you have something to fight and something to play with, you can make things happen". "Le Castellet (French GP) was the first time we got taken out and this is the second".

All of which sounded like anguished moans of the vanquished to Vettel, who with victory extended his championship lead to eight points.

Allison referred to the contact, as conveyed by team boss Toto Wolff after the race, as either "deliberate or incompetent", and a livid Arrivabene said the ex-Ferrari man should be "ashamed" of his comments.

But a poor start and disastrous first lap all but ended his hopes, despite Hamilton's valiant fightback to finish second. Listening to the chatter between Hamilton and the pits, I felt that Lewis nearly dropped his chin after that incident. It's the most intense battle I think we've probably all had.

The Mercedes driver, who fought back from last to second after being sent spinning at the third corner by Ferrari's Finn, had spoken immediately after the race of the Italian team's "interesting tactics".

"It's the home race of Mercedes [and Hamilton], so you have to be quite strong", he continued. "I had the advantage of the tyres, but it was not easy to find a way through". Obviously it's a racing incident and I can't see behind me.

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Victory on Sunday would be Hamilton's fifth in a row at Silverstone.

"You would say the opposite is Monaco and in Monaco we were pretty quick and not far off pole". As it stands, the race is set to leave the historic venue after next year's edition, with the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) set to activate a clause allowing Silverstone to terminate its contract - which was due to run until 2026 - with the Formula One race after 2019.

"I think there is consistency on the penalties", said Mercedes' team principal. But after yesterday's very close qualifying session, it was encouraging to see the underlying pace of the auto - and that we had better tyre usage than our competitors. "Everybody brings updates to every race and there is never a silver bullet that provides you three tenths or four tenths, which was the difference between us and Ferrari previous year".

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

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"At least I would struggle to be that precise in order to take someone out".

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