Lewis Hamilton accepts Kimi Raikkonen apology over British GP 'racing incident'
Ferrari say they "appreciate" Hamilton's remarks; Hamilton explains post-race reluctance to speak
By James Galloway and Pete Gill
Last Updated: 06/12/18 3:32pm
Lewis Hamilton has accepted an apology from Kimi Raikkonen for their first-lap British GP crash and acknowledged the collision "was a racing incident".
Immediately after the race, Hamilton had said the move was "interesting tactics" while Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss, said the spate of first-lap crashes by Ferrari drivers into his Silver Arrows cars was either "deliberate or incompetent".
But in a post released on his Instagram account on Monday, Hamilton said: "Kimi said sorry and I accept it and we move on. It was a racing incident and nothing more. Sometimes we say dumb s**t and we learn from it."
Ferrari responded by tweeting: "We appreciate Lewis Hamilton's comments today following Kimi Raikkonen's apologies after the British GP, notably when Lewis described the episode at the start as a 'racing incident'.''
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Mercedes themselves have also clarified on social media that there was "no accusation" from the team, posting on Twitter: "Nobody is seriously suggesting it was deliberate. Kimi made a mistake. Admitted it and apologised to Lewis."
Raikkonen, who was punished with a 10-second penalty by the stewards, had been quick to admit his fault, telling Sky F1's Martin Brundle: "I locked the wheel so I ended up hitting Lewis in the rear, I oversteered, he spun, my bad. It was my mistake."
Hamilton explains post-race reaction
Hamilton explained his decision to go straight to the podium cool-down room after the race, rather than stay in parc ferme for the top-three interviews, was because "I didn't have much to give at that time and needed to take a deep breath".
"I lost nearly 3kg [in body fluids] trying to get back to the top for you and my team," he also posted to his followers.
"I barely had any energy at the end to stand, let alone talk.If you can't understand and appreciate that, then I fully understand. However, [it] was nothing to do with anger, [I was] literally just exhausted both mentally and physically.
"Thank you to everyone for the incredible support this weekend. We win and lose together. Onwards and upwards."
And in a further post on social media, Hamilton stated on Monday: "I am so disappointed in myself after yesterday's race when I left you all with the perception of a sore loser as l honestly don't feel l am and worst of all, allowed you many the opportunity to ***t on me, lay false claims to my name of which my family and I have worked so hard for."
Earlier, Raikkonen's wife, Minttu, had seemingly entered the saga when she posted: "If you cry like a girl when you lose, do ballet."
But she then added: "Just to be clear, I was not talking about the driver but the team who was crying afterwards that someone did something on purpose. No he didn't. It's called racing."
Hamilton: The fight goes on
Hamilton has promised he will "not give up" in what he describes as the "most intense battle we've probably all had" after the disappointment of not winning his home British Grand Prix.
Hamilton's hopes of finishing on the Silverstone podium, let alone claiming a record sixth victory, appeared over after he was spun into the run-off area by Raikkonen and dropped to 18th place. The polesitter had already been overtaken by Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas at the start.
But spurred on by a record 140,000 race-day crowd, the home favourite drove superbly to race back to second place and said on Twitter afterwards he "used every ounce of energy fighting up the grid".
"We'll take it on the chin and keep pushing hard, because believe me I will not give up. I will not give up," said Hamilton after falling eight points behind race winner Vettel.
Thank you so much for the support throughout the weekend, your amazing presence really helped me today. I used every ounce of energy fighting up the grid. We’ll take this result on the chin and move onwards and upwards. We win and we lose together #TeamLH 🎥 @F1 @MercedesAMGF1 pic.twitter.com/InZr9W6j8H— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 8, 2018
But while the Englishman could not give the home crowd a result to follow the national football team's success in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, he praised their support and said it would continue to spur him on throughout the rest of the season.
"The fans have been incredible this weekend and I'm grateful for the England football team at least doing great this weekend and keeping it positive," said Hamilton.
"Obviously we're in a tough battle this year and it's the most intense battle that I think we've probably all had but I'm very, very grateful that the car was still in one piece after the first turn three incident.
"Honestly, to get back to second it's huge for us and I will definitely take it, of course, and I'm happy with the drive that I did."