Start, Silverstone, 2018

Ferrari drivers say deliberate crash claims are “silly”

2018 British Grand Prix

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Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen described suggestions they collided with their Mercedes rivals on purpose as “silly”.

Raikkonen tangled with Lewis Hamilton on the first lap of today’s British Grand Prix. Two weeks earlier their team mates were involved in a similar collision when Vettel tangled with Valtteri Bottas.

Following today’s race Hamilton referred to the Ferrari drivers using “interesting tactics” at the start. But they denied the collisions were intentional.

“Things can happen but I think it’s quite silly to think that anything that happened was deliberate,” said Vettel. “At least I would struggle to be that precise to take somebody out.

“In France I lost my wing so I screwed my race. I think it’s easy to obviously attack and have a great move and also easy to have an incident.”

Vettel added he didn’t believe Raikkonen deliberately collided with Hamilton. “I only saw it briefly on the monitor,” he said. “I don’t think there was any intention and I find it a bit unnecessary to even go there.”

Raikkonen also rejected any insinuations of foul play.

“Things happen sometimes,” he said. “I locked a wheel, unfortunately we touched, we both paid a price for it and that’s how it goes sometimes.

“It’s easy to say after the last couple of races that we are doing something but we’ve been hit very many times ourselves. That’s just how it goes unfortunately.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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102 comments on “Ferrari drivers say deliberate crash claims are “silly””

  1. I do find it hilarious that the claims are coming from a driver whos strategy for the world title in 2016 relied on attempts to deliberately crash into his team mate.

    Maybe he indeed knows how insidious of a sport F1 is and to what lengths drivers/teams will go to win. Crashgate was undeniable and it’s not as if the top teams are spending any less now than then.

    1. driver whos strategy for the world title in 2016 relied on attempts to deliberately crash into his team mate.

      I have no idea what you are talking about. Please stop watching F1 or think a little bit before you comment.

      1. His attitude in Abu Dabi 2016 was absolutely shameful. Senna and Schumacher never stooped to such lows, even through all the crap they pulled.

        1. I found nothing wrong with 2016, he did what he had to do, Rosberg could try a pass anytime.

          1. @afonic
            Exactly I found his driving was exceptionally brilliant. Only Schumacher or Senna would have thought to have done something similar. It was little different to running the clock down in a football match.

          2. @9chris9

            Well “brilliant” might not be the right word for driving so slowly, but he did what he had to do.

            I felt it was very wrong from the team to ask him to speed up, they had already won 17 of 19 races that year, completely unnecessary and wrong if you ask me, it made Lewis look bad. Any other drive would have done the same, given how dominant Mercedes was in 2016.

        2. pastaman (@)
          8th July 2018, 19:31

          What, like deliberately crashing into their opponents to ensure championship victory? Oh wait, they did that.

      2. Lewis.. shame on him and his team.
        He hit Kimi under angle of 90 degrees and Lewis deserves penalty.
        Whoever is talking and thinking differently, I advice to take a look once again at f1 start 2018 silverstone, and can conclude:
        Hamilton, shame on you!!!
        You are always blaming somebody or something for your failures.
        I pity all people working with you.
        Such a disaster….

        1. Go on You tube and watch the incident from Kimi’s car.
          You might want to rethink your comment.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      8th July 2018, 21:08

      I thought you were talking about Rosberg, the guy who forgot in Austria to turn for a corner.

      1. @mbr-9, @skipgamer And then again in Hockenheim.

        Both illegal moves (penalized too), while taking the racing line as the lead car is the normal thing to do. Driving into “disappearing wedge” is what Brundle calls that.

  2. Thats a new low for me as matter HAM.
    Ok i understand the heat of the moment and i believe he will take it back.

  3. Remember the time we thought that in SPA 2014, Nico had no intentions to crash into Lewis? Well after that, it all changed.

    1. Yeah, 2014 Spa (it’s not an abbreviation, what the hell) was definitely Hamilton’s fault. He was getting ready to run Rosberg off the track, as he did MULTIPLE times throughout their career together.

      1. Oh please….. *yawnnnnn

        1. AntonioCorleone
          8th July 2018, 23:20

          Well, he actually did push Nico out of the track at least 5 or 6 times. There should be videos on youtube…

          1. I must note that I don’t mean Hamilton pushed Rosberg off the track in Spa 2014. I mean the attitude of his car hinted to that intent, and I’m sure Rosberg knew exactly what was going through Hamilton’s mind.

            It’s irrelevant. Remember Verstappen in Catalunya this year? Yeah, that’s the same as Spa 2014.

          2. People seem to have a great difficulty understanding the difference between a legal move, however aggressive, and swiping another competitor’s car and ruining their race. At least the stewards mostly seem to work it out. Hamilton’s pushes were acceptable, as were Rosberg’s on those occasions when he did the same. Not the case of Spa 2014. It’s like ‘accidentally’ catching the trailing foot of a footballer as they go past and tripping them up. In Formula 1, just not correcting quite enough to avoid a collision. You can’t prove it was on purpose. Or indeed prove it wasn’t.

      2. Did someone hack your account and post this?

  4. What expect from the F1 DIVA?!…

  5. GtisBetter (@)
    8th July 2018, 18:09

    Kimi, schieb ihn raus! But in italian?

  6. billbranch (@)
    8th July 2018, 18:16

    This was a new low for super genius Toto Wolff, too, who said the incident was caused either intentionally or by incompetence. In one of the pre-race mini interviews someone said his instructions were to make clean through Lap One, and I know Kimi tried. Toto’s F1 driving experience and successes could be printed on the head of a pin with pre-1960’s technology; we’ll consider the source. Fact of the matter is that Hammy choked on the start and found himself fourth before he tried to speed across Kimi’s bow. After the race, pouting like a pre-schooler whose ice cream had melted, Hamilton tried the media trainer-induced smokescreen, but anyone with half a brain could see he was blaming everyone but himself. A true champion, indeed.

    1. If you watched the incident you’ll see Lewis left lots of room for Kimi, Kimi even acknowledges it was his fault.

      In the onboard video we see Bottas making the corner and Lewis is much further left than Bottas was providing more than 1.5 car widths at a time when there was no car alongside. Kimi over cooked it and Lewis paid the penalty for it.

      1. Lewis braked as late as possible and managed to get enough of his car in front of Kimi to releive aero from the red car front end … little lock up, little bump. He should count him himself blessed not to have had the same consequence Sainz suffered.

    2. Kimi deserves contract with Ferrari to be extended at least for 2 more years.
      He is talented and competent driver.
      Lewis is supposed to go to Toro rosso or something like that, if we are talking about his competency.
      Merz is driving him and LH even does not know how to start the race.
      Whom are we talking about at the moment?
      Who is he????

  7. Pnly a sick mind can even think that today’s race incident between Hamilton and Raikkonen was intentional. And it seems that in Mercedes and the English press there are many minds of that type.

    1. “Only” not “Pnly”.

    2. Agreed.
      Grosjean had almost the exact same incident with his teammate, same place, same time and you can hardly say that was deliberate either.
      Racing incident. Unfortunate, but move on.

  8. I find it funny that 2 weeks ago Hamilton sort of justified Vettel’s error by claiming it showed how much on the limit drivers are. I was easy to say that when he wasn’t the victim of the crash I suppose, given his change in opinion now.

    1. @fer-no65 First of all, that was just PR, because a few minutes earlier Hamilton (watching footage of the incident) said “He just takes him out! Crazy!”.

      Second, the incidents are quite different.

      1. No, absolutely identical incidents, mr. Patrick, but drivers’ names are important. How many Brits are in FIA and where it and how it was founded?

  9. They don’t like it up ’em Mr Mannering…

  10. I think Mercedes and Lewis are ruining the sport with baseless accusations.
    It has been too easy for Lewis/Mercedes the last few years. Now Ferrari is better and they cannot handle it.
    Sore losers.
    Take it like a man Lewis. You’re good on Saturday, but give it away on Sunday. Bad bad start.

    1. were lucky with 2 safety cars

      1. Lewis would have been 4th without a safety car.

    2. Ferrari were screaming “Pirelli in collusion with Mercedes over thin tyres” not so long ago, until they tried the other tyres and Vettel quietly had to backtrack on previous allegations. I think Mercedes are probably getting their own back in the PR war that seems to accompany things these days.

  11. Conspiracies, oh how they rise up the passions of rivals, and their minions.
    The only part of the incident is that Vettel was given only a 5 second penalty, and in this incidence of very similar circumstances warranted a 10 second penalty.

    Yet the stewards said Vettel’s penalty was the norm, so did Kimi do something so different that he was given 10 seconds.

    The stewards seem to have short memories.
    Hamilton still has lots of time and races to take back the lead in the championship..

    1. Perhaps it has something to do with the Silverstone pit lane being much shorter, and thus the time loss was actually similar?

      1. @canuckfan @jamiefranklinf1 The damage that Vettel sustained in his case may also have had an effect on the penalty, as he lost a lot of time going to the pits with the damaged front wing, as well as having to be stationary for more time than normal due to the wing change. In the end the time lost by Vettel in total was maybe higher than the 10 sec penalty Kimi got today. What I am trying to say is, all in all both the penalties were adequate, given the slightly different circumstances.

    2. GtisBetter (@)
      8th July 2018, 19:16

      The two are actually very different. The initial chaos was over and Kimi just brakes too late. This is consistent with other penalties where there was a collision like this after the first lap. Vettel was more a race incident. He was actually side by side with Bottas, but couldn’t make it stick through the corner. Kimi was a long way behind Lewis when he hit him.

  12. I couldn’t agree more with them.

  13. Anyonr who thinks that needs go and ask for an MRI/CAT Scan, as there’s definitely something going on.
    Was clearly unintentional. Firstly, Hamilton got a terrible start which changed the race, and then Kimi merely locked up, but was still turning all the way trying to avoid Lewis. And of all people, Kimi would be the last to pull anything like this. I can’t fathom how people, especially Hamilton and Toto Wolff, actually had this thought… Astoundingly blind.

  14. Ferrari seems to have a little margin over the rivals, without the collision the race most possibly would have ended in a 1-2 for them. If they have the fastest car, why would they even care with the others, they can simply cruise to victory with everyone else biting the dust. It just wouldn’t make sense.
    Remember 2011, when Hamilton and Massa somehow found each other on the track every second race or so?

  15. It is not silly to call this intentional. It probably wasn’t intentional, but it is more complicated.

    Drivers balance risk and reward, and bet on what their rival will do. A collision has very little downside for Kimi. He didn’t crash into him on purpose, but he did play it very tight. Like Vettel did in Brazil and Spain. These crashes reflect different treatment of key rivels vs teammates. They also help maintain respect.

    So was it intentional? Probably not. Did he race it so close a collision was likely, because the consequences were minor? Probably.

    1. Agreed, mostly. But I don’t think it’s accurate to say Kimi was overly aggressive because he didn’t think crashing was a problem. He’s aggressive because he’s an elite racer and when elite racers see an opportunity / gap they will go for it – especially at the front and especially early on when positioning matters so much.

      1. Did you catch his comments when he was penalised too – bemoaning aggressive driving – I think he has been given orders to drive more aggressively against his natural style – if that’s the case, Merc do actually have a point.

    2. This is my thought too. HAM probably doesn’t think it was a deliberate contact. But HAM has to do something to influence the amount of risk Ferrari takes when along side Merc cars.

      Everyone should be in agreement that all these collisions hurt Mercedes drivers the most. Merc is trying tone down the Ferrari aggressiveness, changing the optics and raising doubt in the minds of VET and RAI.

      Interesting to see how this plays out.

  16. The Ferrari is now for the first time in years faster than the Mercedes. Lewis is acting more like Vettel from the past with this kind of nonsense. Kimi could have commented it was a battle at the start of the race. Feeling desperate now for the first time he is going to need Mercedes to make bold car improvements. Shame on Lewis and Mercedes echoing his immature comments. This race was a battle regardless, the race was not about Lewis not get getting his 6th British GP win that maybe Lewis is feeling sorry for himself about not getting that notch in his belt.

  17. Claiming it was intentional is just laughable. It was a mistake, Lewis had a terrible start, got stuck in the traffic, kimi locked up and hit him. Kimis fault, clearly.

    Lewis is undeniably an incredible driver but this is just a bit too dramatic. Call it “passion” or whatever excuse you want but cmon, stop being dramatic. Man up and stop the childish temper tantrums.

    At least show some sporting dignity in front of your home crowd, man.

    1. You should see his demeanor during the press conference; as if he was waiting for Seb and Kimi to confess and hand him back the trophy 😂

      1. Haha yeah I caught that.

        I understand he’s ultra competitive, as they all are, and the post-race formalities must be very annoying after a difficult race, but show a bit of class.

  18. Ferrari had the faster car. So Lewis, after his bad start, would not have been better then second. So he lost nothing thanks to 2 safety cars.
    He also didn’t have another set of softs. Without the safety cars it probably would have been a 2 stopper if you see that Bottas did not have much tire left with 2 safety cars.
    So a 1-2 for Mercedes was not in the books.
    Lewis was lucky.

  19. Well you can claim it wasn’t intentional, but clearly Raikkonen was overly aggressive because he had nothing to lose and Hamilton had everything to lose.

    So no, it wasn’t a move to take Hamilton out on purpose, but don’t insult our intelligence that we that he would have gone for such a high risk move on another driver.

    1. wooden eye hamilton had crashed to kimi on the pit road, I think it was back in 2008 season.

      1. “Interestingly” there was another car (Williams?) alongside Kimi at the end of pit-lane, but Lewis has “chosen” to crash into Kimi… Interesting… (I still struggle to understand, how a sane mature human can come up with this kind of a nonsence like this “interesting tactics” unless it’s a joke)

  20. Vettel knows what he is talking about. Just look at what happened in Baku 2017.
    Hamilton could still continue.

  21. The implication that Ferrari is systematically crashing into Mercedes is a huge claim by one giant manufacturer against another. A claim like that has implications beyond the sporting side.

    Do Mercedes have the right to be upset? Yes, but those are very big accusations by 2 of the sport’s most influential individuals.

    Mercedes is better than this. Leave the petulant complaining to Christian Horner and RB. They’re more ‘independent’ and already have that reputation

    1. mercedes is the low point of F1.

  22. Kimi has all but seen Ferrari typing out his P45 and everyone thinks Leclerc is shoe-in for his seat next year, so they are sending a clear message to try harder. He sees a chance to put his car in front of Lewis but he messes it up. He also fails to clear the air with Lewis in the pre-podium room, embarrassed perhaps?

    Ferrari realise that they are in with a shout of the title but only if they leave nothing on the track, it’s pressure that leads to these mistakes. It’s equally clear that the Mercedes drivers are adopting the adage that to finish first, first you must finish. That’s likely the root of Lewis comment about tactics, not an accusation of cheating, simply that they are over-aggressive.

    Toto says it’s either intentional or incompetent, the tin foil hat brigade who can can obviously read minds say he was really accusing Ferrari of cheating. The fact is that even the great M Schumacher couldn’t convincingly fake a crash into a stationary barrier, so we are left with a 99.9% probability it was incompetence.

  23. I find it interesting that nobody is commenting on Merc switching Ham and Bottas today. Had Ferrari done that a week ago, the whole British press would’ve been all over them. This eight point lead could’ve been 11 by now, but Ferrari, albeit against all odds, did the right thing in Austria. Interesting tactics, Lewis. And don’t get me started about Kimi being a threat at the closing stages, hence the team orders. Sigh.

    1. @lancesuk – Wasn’t a switch in my eyes (at first I thought it was, and wondered if a reversal at the flag was on the cards), but seeing how Bottas went backwards after that, I realized he had shot his tyres. If you look at the second chart here for the top 5 finishers, you’ll see he was just managing to hold off Ricciardo with his Renault PU.

    2. FreddyVictor
      9th July 2018, 7:29

      BOT pitted earlier than HAM so his tyres were on their last legs
      If you look at the footage, I think BOT does go defensive but cannot stop the inevitable overtake by HAM

      More a question for me was: why the Full SC and not the VSC like in earlier races ?

    3. Kimi deserves contract with Ferrari to be extended at least for 2 more years.
      He is talented and competent driver.
      Lewis is supposed to go to Toro rosso or something like that, if we are talking about his competency.
      Merz is driving him and LH even does not know how to start the race.
      Whom are we talking about at the moment?
      Who is he????

    4. You are 100% right.
      But remember FIA would have punished Ferrari if they have done the same. They would explain: Kimi is helping Vettel and they are killing beauty of the racing…
      Vettel, if you remember, his fourth world title champion f1 got much earlier than Brit. Brit got it only when Rosberg resigned and peaceful Bottas, obeying merz commands, signed for them.
      What is poor Bottas doing? He is signing contracts for Merz because he is a good boy and listening to old wolves and BLINDLY FOLLOWING directions from merz team and he is not fighting for his success but he is helping injured Brit to win but unsuccessfuly this time.
      They do not want 1 more Rosberg in the team..
      So many conspiracies from Merz and FIA against Ferrari is present at the moment that by the power of nature and energies disposition to bring out from them their best is certain and so simple way for absolute Ferrari dominance this year.

    5. Bottas did not defend against hamilton thats for sure.

      1. +1.

        With those tyres he managed to keep behind the faster VET for some good laps and really made it hard for VET. Let’s be honest, that overtaking maneouver from VET was pretty much on the limit, almost an all or nothing maneouver. Yet, when HAM got behind him, BOT was like a sitting duck.

        1. Duckling..
          Sorry for correction

    6. They didn’t switch. Bottas’ tires were done – he fell back after because his tires were done.

      If they had truly switched as you’re implying, Bottas would’ve made the podium.

  24. Gemma St. Ivans
    9th July 2018, 0:15

    Hamilton is such a poor sport when he loses,like a spoiled child

  25. If I were to take another driver out intentionally, I would at least make sure that the targeted driver is actually out of the race. A mistake by braking a few meters too late is not to be mistaken with intention.

    These comments are not surprising from Hamilton considering he thought even God wanted to punish him after he retired from the lead at Malaysia in 2016.

    1. My thoughts exactly. If you want to take another driver out intentionally, you don’t hit his rear tyre: you risk breaking your front suspension or front wing, and you’re hitting arguably the most robust part of your rival’s car: at worst he’d spin or limp back to boxes with a flat tyre (and probably a safety car). Instead you’d go for the side pods. The radiators are there and it’s rather easy to break one, which automatically takes the car out of contention.

    2. No wonder Nicole left Hammy. She left the Pussycat Dolls to get away from all that cattiness, but now she was coming home to it with Lewis.

      Even with drying up eggs and Hamilton’s big bank balance subsidising a faltering music career she couldn’t bring herself to stick around.

      I think a lot of this is overcompensation from Lewis. Guy must be worth hundreds of millions yet still sees himself as a victim.

      Short bloke too. Like a jockey if you’ve seen him in real life. Must be 140 pounds dripping wet.

  26. Its all heat of the moment’ stuff. They’ll look back at it tomorrow and realise its all just racing. They’re looking too deep into it like its some conspiracy. We all arm chair experts just add fuel to the fire. Move on

  27. Filippo Peverini
    9th July 2018, 3:10

    Loving all the comments I have been reading online. Toto and Hamilton’s comments backfiring nicely..Ha Ha..Sore losers

    1. i wish read your blah blah when someone hit the cucumber. .

  28. The only time I’ve ever seen this guy lose gracefully is to Bottas. He just can’t handle it.

    1. Bottas has so much more class / mental stability when it comes to dealing with the ups and downs of winning and losing.

      1. Totally agree. Just gets his head down and deals with it.

  29. Filippo Peverini
    9th July 2018, 4:18

    Also I think Kimi felt bad about what he did to Hamilton and did not attack at the end out of respect. Otherwise I think he would have had him.

  30. Good Old “Hamilton the politician”‘ in action. He races hard outside the track using the media as much as he races on the track. Great driver bad comments .shame.

    Well Totto how about some discussion instead about switching Hamilton and Bottas in the end. Is that conspiracy theory or bad treatment to Bottas ????

    Overall I enjoyed the race today . Was fun to watch . One of the good ones.

    1. He would be better actor and singer than driver..
      Wrong profession.
      May be politician as well..

      1. It’s just more of the same old promo for his real career as a ‘reality’ star.

        1. It is very interesting to see a driver on his knees and crying.
          I thought that real men a f1 drivers. Hamilton is completely changing the image of BRAVE men. What a disappointment…

  31. Truer than you think. A politician can say the precise same thing to two separate crowds and be received entirely differently depending on the bias of their audience. How a politician is received tells you nothing about the politician and everything about their audience.

    1. I like your comment, mr. Will. This will definetely stay in my mind….

  32. YellowSubmarine
    9th July 2018, 7:49

    Bit surprising that, in the rush to say the worst things allowable on this platform, most of those castigating Hamilton appear to have missed the point of his and Toto’s claims.
    Those claims are not really targeted at ferrari, they’re aimed at FIA stewards. Let’s say there’s a 50-50 tangle between Bottas and Vettel at the next race – who do you think will get penalised? It will be Vettel. Not because he will necessarily be at fault, but because Lewis and Toto, by airing these claims so prominently, will have backed the stewards into a corner that they can only exit by coming down hard on ferrari.
    It’s the politics of f1, and we saw ferrari do exactly the same thing when their cars were within the same grid zone as the Red Bulls – vettel and kimi were moaning about Verstappen at every possible opportunity.

    1. Yup politics 101.

      There are multiple levels of competition, that you need to master for F1 title.

    2. Well it worked in Verstappen’s favour yesterday. His late double move too attempt to block Rai out was well worth talking about post race.

    3. I agree 100%. You are a real visionar.
      Ferrari, Vettel, Kimi, BE CAREFUL Zin Germany.
      FIA is UNDER wolf’s pressure/ sorry for typing error..

  33. For this whole 15 years, now I understand why Kimi usually overtake from the outside rather than inside ..hahaha ..lol

  34. Might be time for Mercedes management to have a word with Lewis and Toto – silly comments like this only do damage to their own brand.

  35. I dont know what all the fuss is about. It was a brilliant race, and exactly what the fans wanted to see, a real champion, from the back of the grid up to 2nd place, with some brilliant overtaking along the way.

    I know it’s bad there was an accident that started it all off, but Lewis should be super happy that he got the chance to show off in front of the home crowd, who totally loved it.

  36. Hamilton: “I do my talking on the track.”

    And off it pal. Don’t make yourself out to be something you’re not.

    Wolff didn’t like it when one or two of his team members were singled out for calling Ferrari into question over fuel / oil / whatever it was. Now it’s all “It is a lot of constructor points. In [technical director] James Allison’s words, ‘do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?’. I guess it’s OK to rat them out yourself, eh.

    1. I’m not surprised if the oil burn attack came from Allison.
      I don’t know what that guy is thinking. Did Ferrari do something to him?

    2. Hamilton: “I do my talking on the track.”

      You mean, on the radio?

      1. He really means, in the studio on his new mix tape with [insert trending celebrity name].

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