Hamilton limited the damage, but Ferrari are the real winners

Vettel triumphant in the battle of Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton struggled to hide his disappointment on Sunday as he avoided a post-race interview and ignored one of his Ferrari rivals after finishing second in the British Grand Prix.

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.

"I'm sorry I couldn't bring it home for you today", the four-time world champion told his fans.

However, the threat of 2019 being a farewell to the former World War Two airfield that hosted the first world championship race in 1950, and is a home grand prix for most teams, remains real.

By Monday morning Hamilton had retracted his "interesting tactics" allegations - admitting on Instagram that "we all say dumb s--" - and accepted Raikkonen's apology. Had Hamilton nailed his start on Sunday and emerged from the opening corners in first place, there is no reason to believe Vettel would have had the pace or the tyre life to challenge him.

Hamilton was 29 seconds behind leader Vettel and 11 behind Raikkonen, but he was turning in the quickest laps of the race, and when Daniel Ricciardo stopped for a second time, he was up to fifth.

Hamilton's Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had also waded into the row, quoting the team's British technical director James Allison who had been with Ferrari until making the switch in 2016.

While Lewis Hamilton backtracked on his criticism of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen on Monday, the Italian team's chief Maurizio Arrivabene launched a scathing attack on the Mercedes team. He's been coming to races since he was two or three years old. Also incompetent.Who? Kimi? Who's he to judge what a driver is doing in the vehicle?

Vettel passed Bottas at Brooklands five laps from the end, with Finn's tyres fading, and Hamilton was also through a lap later and the chase was on to the finish with the German winning by 2.2 seconds.

The post was quickly deleted but Minttu later told a Hamilton fan: "Just to be clear, I was not talking about the driver but the team who was crying afterwards that someone did something on objective".

She wrote: "If you cry like a girl when you lose, do ballet".

Instead, Mercedes suspects the complaints over the team radio early in the race were triggered by how bad the auto felt in the turbulent air of other cars.

"Allison worked at Maranello for many years, but now we are here in England teaching him to be a gentleman". "A thing that they haven't done".

Looking ahead to Sunday's race, Hamilton added: "The start and the tyre management will be key for the race. It's a very important race for Formula One". "I locked the inside wheel a bit, couldn't slow down as much as I wanted, then we obviously touched and he spun".

"We have got to keep pushing", Hamilton said. This is the first time we've won together. It is so close, which I love, but the goal is to be ahead by the end.

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