Vettel wrecks Hamilton’s home party with stunning Ferrari win

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The Ferrari driver left it late, however, passing Mercedes' Valterri Bottas with only a handful of laps to go, the German going back to the top of the World Championship standings as Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] was forced to work for his second place finish after a first lap clash with Kimi Raikkonen left him last on track.

But the race was dominated by a third-corner collision between Hamilton and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen that sent the Brit to the back of the field and led to accusations of skulduggery after the chequered flag.

Hamilton was on a charge from the first lap, back up to seventh after nine laps but still 26 seconds behind his fellow four-times world champion.

"We need to find some performance in the race starts to avoid incidents like we saw [at Silverstone}", Wolff said.

By Monday morning Hamilton had retracted his "interesting tactics" allegations - admitting on Instagram that "we all say dumb s--" - and accepted Raikkonen's apology.

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Hamilton suffered from a collision with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen during the first lap of the race.

Vettel and Raikkonen pitted but Mercedes kept their drivers out, assuring Hamilton that he was "the fastest guy by miles" with everything to play for on tyres that would last the distance.

"We are doing a lot of work here this week trying to understand that, because we know fine well that if we qualify on pole we have got to get off the line as well as the Ferraris and that is what we will be trying to do in Hockenheim", he said in Mercedes' post-race Pure Pitwall YouTube video.

"In (technical director) James Allison's words, 'Do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?'" Wolff said.

But Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene offered a scathing assessment of the Mercedes reaction. Despite regular big crowds the future of the Silverstone race is in doubt after it triggered a break clause in its contract past year which will end its tenure as host after 2019 unless it reaches a new deal with F1.

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Championship leader Sebastian Vettel caught Valterri Bottas on Turn 1 in France and relationships between the drivers and constructors is particularly strained following events at Silverstone.

Mercedes found their tactics under scrutiny yet again at Silverstone after leaving both drivers out on the track after Marcus Ericsson's late crash led to the safety auto being deployed.

"If it had been Bottas, it would have been five seconds, that's the thing", he stated, clearly unimpressed with the FIA's way of handling things.

She wrote: "If you cry like a girl when you lose, do ballet". Only 14 cars finished the race, with both Sauber cars stopping early as well as Red Bull's Max Verstappen retiring after 46 laps.

He said: "If he [Allison] actually said something like that, he should be ashamed of himself because he worked many years in Maranello". Sometimes they want to teach us how to be gentlemen. "It was a racing incident and nothing more".

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Always at his best when riled, Hamilton scythed his way through the pack with demonic intensity.