Another first-lap shunt 'deliberate or incompetence' from Ferrari, says Wolff

For the second time in three races, a Mercedes driver was hit by a Ferrari, with Toto Wolff describing it as "deliberate or incompetence."

Hamilton started on pole in his home race at Silverstone but was struck by Kimi at turn three of the opening lap and had to battle hard to recover a podium place.   -  Getty Images

A disgruntled Toto Wolff suggested Kimi Raikkonen's collision with Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix was "deliberate or incompetence".

Hamilton's hopes of claiming a fifth successive win at Silverstone were severely dented when he made a poor start from pole on Sunday, before being hit by the Ferrari of Raikkonen at turn three.

The reigning world champion recovered impressively to claim second behind Sebastian Vettel, with Raikkonen - who was handed a 10-second penalty as a result of the incident - ultimately taking third.

READ: Vettel wins thrilling British GP as Hamilton recovers to second

After the race, Mercedes team principal Wolff was quick to reference the fact Valtteri Bottas was taken out by Vettel on lap one of last month's French Grand Prix. On that occasion, Vettel finished two places ahead of Bottas, having received a five-second penalty that left Hamilton unimpressed.

Wolff told Sky Sports F1: "It's the second time we got taken out and that's a lot of constructor points To word it in [Mercedes technical director] James Allison's words, 'do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?' This leaves us with a judgement."

For his part, Raikkonen admitted fault, stating: "[It was] my mistake. I deserved the penalty."


Wolff hailed the performance of Hamilton, who cut through the field before benefiting from Mercedes' gamble to leave their two drivers out on medium tyres during two safety car periods in the second half of the race.

"It was an amazing recovery from Lewis," added Wolff. "He was dead last and it was the maximum damage limitation we could have achieved - a fantastic drive from him."

Discussing Mercedes' decision not to pit under the safety car, he continued: "It worked, because we gained track position and at the end we had [positions] two and four. That was better than we were running on before, so I think it was absolutely the right call."

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