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


In France, Sebastian Vettel clashed with Valtteri Bottas at the first corner, while in Austria Kimi Raikkonen managed to position himself between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton started poorly, and Vettel and Bottas looked to take advantage, while Raikkonen looked up the inside of Lewis going in to turn three the Finn collided with Hamilton as the two went wheel-to-wheel.

Hamilton and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen were involved in a collision early on in the race, and the Briton was less than happy during his post-race interview. "In James Allison's words, 'do you think it..." The clutch release on the 2016 vehicle also proved troublesome and the team worked hard to find a solution, including modifying the drivers' gloves to give a better feel for the paddle at the start. Finding new and more ways to engage with the fans is massively important to me, they make the sport what it is.

Hamilton and Mercedes will renew their rivalry with Ferrari at Vettel's home race in Germany a week on Sunday. "I will not give up, believe me, I will not give up", he said later.

Hamilton rushed back into the mix for a podium spot with the majority of runners picking a one-stop strategy until Marcus Ericsson lost control of his Sauber at Turn 1, and his fierce shunt into the tyre barrier brought out a lap 33 safety auto. Overall, though, we are left with the feeling of "what might have been" after one of our cars was taken out for the second time in three races on lap one.

Instead, the Mercedes driver slipped eight points behind Sebastian Vettel, with the real possibility that his German rival will be leading into the August break.

"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".

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Hamilton was able to resist Raikkonen and ended up second as Bottas slipped from first to fourth in the closing stages. "I would be surprised if there was anything else or if Kimi is that kind of driver". 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.

"I played football as a kid, I was passionate about it, I would collect the stickers, the magazines", Hamilton said last week.

"He spun and it was my bad, but that is how it goes sometimes", said Raikkonen.

Mallya, who has a 42.5 per cent stake in the company, said that Best Water Technology (BWT) - the team's main sponsor - might become more involved.

Raikkonen held off his Finnish compatriot Valteri Bottas to finish third despite a ten-second time penalty after admitting culpability in his collision with Hamilton. Always at his best when riled, Hamilton scythed his way through the pack with demonic intensity.

Wolff was none too pleased with the current gap between Mercedes and Ferrari in the Constructors' rankings.