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Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have hit back at Lewis Hamilton after the Briton’s insinuation of their lap one conduct at recent Formula 1 events.
Hamilton bogged down off the line at the British Grand Prix and held third position into Village, where he was tapped into a spin by Raikkonen.
Raikkonen, who accepted full responsibility for the contact, was handed a 10-second time penalty and went on to classify third, while Hamilton recovered from the rear of the pack to take second, behind winner Vettel.
The first-lap contact comes two weeks after Vettel ran into Valtteri Bottas at Turn 1 in the French Grand Prix, and on the podium Hamilton commented “interesting tactics I would say from their side."
Expanding further in the press conference, Hamilton said: “All I’ll say there’s now two races the Ferraris have taken out one of the Mercedes.
“A five-second penalty and a 10-second penalty doesn’t feel… It is a lot of points Valtteri and I have lost in those incidents.
“Obviously it’s a racing incident and I can’t see behind me. We need to position ourselves better so we’re not exposed to the red cars because who knows where they are going to be."
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When provided with the right to reply, Vettel wryly retorted: “Things can happen, but I think it's quite silly to think that anything that happened was deliberate.
“At least I would struggle to be that precise in order to take someone out. In France I lost my wing so I screwed my own race.
“I think it's easy to attack and have a great move, and easy to have an incident.
“I only saw it briefly, and I don't think there was any intention. I find it a bit unnecessary to even go there."
Raikkonen also shrugged off the incident, commenting: “Things happen sometimes.
“Funnily enough you [media] start blaming us for doing it on purpose but I locked the wheel, unfortunately we touched and we both paid the price for it and that’s how it goes sometimes.
“It’s easy to say after the last couple of races that we’re suddenly doing something against them, but we’ve been hit pretty many times also, so that’s how it goes, unfortunately."