Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Lewis Hamilton coy on Ferrari interest after signing new Mercedes deal

Lewis Hamilton coy on Ferrari interest after signing new Mercedes deal

Vettel had led comfortably throughout when the race was thrown wide open by rain showers, with drivers trying to stay out on slick tires as the rain hit only certain parts of the track.

The Briton was subject to a lengthy steward's investigation for swerving out of the pit entry lane when his team suddenly aborted a tyre change while the safety vehicle was out. "It was just one of those moments".

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was fourth for Red Bull, but teammate Daniel Ricciardo retired after rising from last on the grid to seventh.

He was issued with a reprimand with the stewards' decision based on three mitigating factors: that Hamilton admitted the mistake and it had occurred because of confusion in communication; that it was during a safety vehicle period; and that no other competitor was put at risk by the manoeuvre.

Hamilton's decision to stay with Mercedes is set to have a domino effect on the driver market for 2019. Raikkonen's wife Minttu then got involved, suggesting Hamilton was "crying like a girl", and urged him to take up ballet.

"It was really confusing because they were all panicking on the pit wall, I was probably the only relaxed one", he said.

"Yeah it is a worry but we have seen that they have been capable of doing it".

But it is expected that Vettel, back at the circuit where he saw his first F1 race as a boy, will be scrapping with Hamilton as the two four-time champions lock horns again. Hamilton defended sternly as the two went wheel-to-wheel through the middle sector.

That did not go down well at a nervy Mercedes.

Hamilton stayed on track to assume the lead, and when the race was back under way with 10 laps to run, the Englishman held off team-mate Bottas to seal a famous victory and afterwards thanked God for the win. With a little more than 20 of the 67 laps to go, Raikkonen was leading Vettel - who was complaining of his tires overheating.

"I like Kimi and we get along", Vettel said ahead of his home race.

"Obviously we wanted to wait until after the race to have a look at it because we were getting quite close to the end of it and then with all the rain and the thunderstorms and everything like that, by the time everything had calmed down, had a good look at it and the stewards decided that they should, in fact, discuss it with the team".

"For those who didn't know me before, now you do".

Ferrari's senior performance engineer, Jock Clear, told Raikkonen not to hold up Vettel. "What do you want?"

He said: "It is very hard (to win) from that position and highly unlikely but you have always got to believe".

He eventually did, ending the Finnish driver's hopes of a first win since the season-opening Australian GP in 2013.

Hamilton now boasts a 17-point advantage going into the Hungarian Grand Prix next week, before the championship takes a four-week summer break.

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