Lewis Hamilton has accused Ferrari of using “tactics” after he was hit by Kimi Raikkonen at the British GP, while Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the collision was either “deliberate or incompetent”.
Hamilton was shunted by Raikkonen at the start of the race at Turn Three and had to fight back through the field after dropping to last place, eventually finishing second behind race winner Sebastian Vettel, in the sister Ferrari.
Raikkonen was adjudged to have been at fault with the stewards meting out a 10-second penalty.
Vettel wins after Hamilton’s first-lap collision with Raikkonen
But Hamilton was not happy despite his fine comeback drive.
“Interesting tactics I would say from this side but we’ll do what we can to fight them,” he said.
It is the second time in three races that a Mercedes car has been hit by a Ferrari at the start of the race, with Vettel running into Bottas at the French GP.
While Wolff admitted the Hamilton-Raikkonen clash was a racing incident, he told Sky F1: “Le Castellet was the first time we got taken out and this is the second – it’s a lot of constructor points.
“To put it in James Allison’s [Mercedes technical chief] words, this is either deliberate or incompetence.”
Later asked if he was ‘comfortable’ with the incident, Wolff replied: “I’m not comfortable at all with the incident because it’s tiresome to be taken out in the first lap.”
Hamilton added: “All l would say is that it’s two races in which a Ferrari has taken out a Mercedes. Valtteri and I have both lost out in those situations.”
Vettel, however, who now leads Hamilton by eight points in the title standings, vehemently denied any foul play.
“It’s silly to think that anything happened was deliberate,” he insisted.
“I don’t think there was an intention and l think it’s unnecessary to even go there.”
In their official ruling, stewards said Hamilton had ‘clearly left significant room on the inside’ of the corner and that Raikkonen ‘locked up his right front tyre, understeered and caused a collision’.
The Ferrari driver had two penalty points applied to his superlicence in addition to the in-race time penalty.
Raikkonen accepted fault for the collision after the race and said his penalty was deserved.
“My bad, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” said the Finn, who recovered to third.
“It was my mistake, so that’s fine. I deserve it, I took the 10 seconds and got fighting.”