Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

F1 Business Diary: British Grand Prix

F1 Business Diary: British Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen tipped Lewis Hamilton into a spin at the start of the British Grand Prix on Sunday, after Sebastian Vettel did the same to Valtteri Bottas in France two weeks ago.

Hamilton recovered to second, aided by Mercedes' decision not to pit him for fresh tyres under a safety vehicle to gain track position, but looked tense alongside Raikkonen while the top three waited to go onto the podium post-race.

At the French Grand Prix, Vettel ran into Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas at the start of the race, an incident which forced him to retire.

By turn three Kimi Raikkonen was lining up the Briton to take advantage of his tardy getaway, but the Finn locked his front-left wheel and smacked into the side of the Mercedes, knocking it off the road and sending Hamilton tumbling down the order.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.

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The race had 15 laps left to run when it resumed on lap 37, but Romain Grosjean and Carlos Sainz crashed into each other one lap later, triggering a second safety auto that absorbed another precious three laps for the Mercedes drivers. Finding new and more ways to engage with the fans is massively important to me, they make the sport what it is.

Hamilton was not without flaws, having thrown away his pole position with over-aggression on the start line, generating wheelspin that allowed Vettel to fly past.

The most recent of which took place in Austria when the Mercedes' pit wall, led by chief strategist James Vowles, failed to react to a Virtual Safety Car period, which resulted in Hamilton dropping from first to fourth. Believe me, I will not give up.

Vettel pitted for new tires while the safety auto was out following Marcus Ericsson's crash. Unfortunate because Le Castellet first time we got taken out and now it is the second time we got taken out.

Vettel, who led Hamilton by one point going into the 10th of 21 races, now leads by eight.

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"It's been a handsome battle, a battle that I think the audience appreciated, there will be other battles where most likely Mercedes will win and this is a lesson for us to stay classy, a thing that they haven't done today".

"I think Lewis could have won the race without crashing on the first lap, but nevertheless to come from last to second, is fantastic".

"It was a super start, a super race, and yeah, a hammer finish", said Vettel, who had been dealing with a stiff neck for qualifying the day before. "Sometimes we say dumb s**t and we learn from it".

But Wolff's counterpart at Ferrari, Arrivabene, was livid.

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.

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"That's what's wrong; it's racing - I don't like it when there are racing penalties, it should be for dirty driving, which is a different thing, or stupid driving".

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