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Lauda: Ferrari mistakes "unfair and not funny"

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Lauda: Ferrari mistakes "unfair and not funny"
By:
Co-author: Adam Cooper
Jul 8, 2018, 4:30 PM

The collisions between Ferrari and Mercedes drivers in the past two Formula 1 races are "unfair" and "not funny", says Niki Lauda.

Kimi Raikkonen tipped Lewis Hamilton into a spin at the start of the British Grand Prix on Sunday, after Sebastian Vettel did the same to Valtteri Bottas in France two weeks ago.

Hamilton dropped to last but charged back to second at his home race.

Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda told Motorsport.com: "Lewis did an incredible job today, no question about it. Everything was going right.

"The accident was unfair basically, because it's the second time a Ferrari hits us in the first corner, and it's not funny. But that's the way it is."

Vettel received a five-second penalty for hitting Bottas at Paul Ricard while Raikkonen picked up a 10-second penalty for the Hamilton clash on Sunday.

"First of all it was wrong when they gave Vettel five seconds," Lauda told Sky Sports F1.

"At least now they gave Kimi 10 seconds at least. The stewards realised what's going on here.

"But that's the way it is. It should not have been, but for me, Lewis's job, being last, coming all the way to second, shows what performance he had here.

"So, I say without the crash he would have won the race."

Vettel won the race after a thrilling conclusion in which he wrested the lead from Bottas, who along with Hamilton had stayed out on slightly old tyres under a safety car.

Ferrari swapped Vettel and Raikkonen onto fresh softs, costing them track position but giving them chance to attack.

Hamilton was able to resist Raikkonen and ended up second as Bottas slipped from first to fourth in the closing stages.

After Mercedes came under much scrutiny for its strategy in Austria, Lauda said that on this occasion "we were absolutely right, we did nothing wrong".

"Valtteri had some problems with the tyres near the end, yes, but if he had come in the pits he would have had even more trouble," Lauda said.

"I think Lewis could have won the race without crashing on the first lap, but nevertheless to come from last to second, is fantastic.

"The question is it's such a close call, Bottas did a very good job to defend his position with Vettel as long as he could, but then it was over.

"It worked out for Lewis, it didn't work out for Bottas."

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Vettel had to "surprise" Bottas for race-winning move

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