Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and More
Lewis Hamilton's victory in the British Grand Prix, his second on home soil, was among the most important victories of his career.
The Mercedes man is now only four points away from teammate Nico Rosberg, who retired from the lead at Silverstone, at the top of the drivers' standings, and both Silver Arrows drivers have been discussing their fortunes over what could prove to be a pivotal day in the title race.
It is a reflection of just how thrilling the grand prix was that Hamilton's win was arguably not even the biggest talking point.
That honour went to Kimi Raikkonen, whose first-lap crash served as a reminder that Formula One can never be too safe.
Ahead of the race, the 2007 world champion implied that he would not be remaining in F1 beyond the expiry of his current Ferrari contract—but the injuries sustained in the frightening shunt on the Wellington Straight may mean he vacates his cockpit sooner than anticipated.
Sebastian Vettel's superb battle with Fernando Alonso only added extra spice to the race, with the Red Bull driver less than pleased with his Ferrari counterpart's tactics.
Closing this week's roundup is Jenson Button, who went some way to proving the doubters—including his own boss—wrong with his best performance of the season.
Lewis Hamilton Wanted Battle with Mercedes Teammate Nico Rosberg
You would have assumed that Lewis Hamilton would be content with a battling drive from sixth on the grid to win his home race and regain the momentum in the title race.
But you would be wrong.
Despite his second British Grand Prix victory carrying all the hallmarks of a mid-season resurgence, Hamilton has revealed his disappointment that Nico Rosberg, his Mercedes teammate and the current championship leader, didn't hang around for an on-track fight.
Rosberg suffered his first retirement of the season at Silverstone, slowing to a halt at the halfway stage having suffered a gearbox problem—just as Hamilton was taking chunks of time out of the German's lead.
And Hamilton claimed he was upset at being denied the chance to perform a race-winning pass on Rosberg, telling Pete Gill of Sky Sports:
I was gutted not to have a wheel-to-wheel race. I went to the prime tyre and he was on the options and yet I was catching him at the time. I knew then that at the end of the race on the option tyre I was going to be in a position to fight to him and I was so excited for that.
I don’t want anything bad for my teammate. I want him to be at his best and me to be at my best so we can really see the difference.
Nico Rosberg Would Have Sacrificed British Grand Prix Win
Nico Rosberg has admitted that he would have allowed Mercedes teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton to pass him with ease if it meant he would finish the British Grand Prix.
The German suffered his first retirement of the season at Silverstone while leading after setting pole position the previous day, allowing Hamilton to take a comfortable victory, cutting Rosberg's lead in the drivers' standings from 29 to just four points.
Rosberg suffered MGU-K issues in last month's Canadian Grand Prix, but he managed the problem expertly to finish second only to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo despite a substantial drop in pace—and the 29-year-old has said that he was willing to repeat the trick on his faulty gearbox to ensure he crossed the finish line at Silverstone.
Rosberg told William Esler and James Galloway of Sky Sports:
My mentality changed: "let’s stop racing Lewis and let’s just try and get this thing to the end somehow because I have such a pace advantage I can do some pretty radical things to try and keep this gearbox alive." But there wasn’t really anything that could be done from their opinion [in the garage].
Ferrari to Make Kimi Raikkonen Decision Before Silverstone Test
Kimi Raikkonen's participation in the final in-season test at Silverstone this week is in doubt after his opening-lap crash in the British Grand Prix.
The 2007 world champion suffered bruising to his ankle and knee after smashing into the barriers on the Wellington Straight before being collected by the Williams of Felipe Massa, whom the Finnish driver replaced at Ferrari for 2014.
Raikkonen was scheduled to take part in the test at Silverstone, which runs between Tuesday and Wednesday, but Ferrari may yet be forced to change their plans to allow their driver to recover.
Marco Mattiacci, the team principal, told Jonathan Noble of Autosport:
Kimi is OK.
We checked several times and we will take a decision about the test, and what to do with the test, so we see after today.
I want to be 100 per cent sure that he will be fine before [he does it]. But there is no major issue at the moment.
Sebastian Vettel Has a Slight Dig at Fernando Alonso After British GP Battle
After Nico Rosberg's retirement prevented the Silverstone crowd from witnessing an exciting battle for the lead with Lewis Hamilton, it was left to Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel to provide the entertainment.
And the world champions didn't disappoint, racing nose-to-tail and wheel-to-wheel for 14 laps before Vettel ended the battle with a move down the inside of Copse corner on the 47th lap.
The fight, however, was littered with accusations over team radio from both drivers, accusing each other of exceeding track limits and overly aggressive manoeuvres.
And Vettel has suggested that his complaints were reactions to Alonso's, whom the German believes has a habit of whingeing.
The four-time world champion told ESPN F1:
A couple of times [we got] maybe too close, obviously it got a bit silly at the end when we both started to complain about the other going off track.
It was tight. I think twice it was a bit too harsh into Turn 6—if I don't back out of it, we crash. I could stay on the track and with me there he couldn't make that corner. On the other hand its tough when you're racing, it will be hard. I knew that when I got the message that I should respect the limits I knew he was complaining because that's what he tends to do so I decided to do the same thing.
Jenson Button Pleased to Respond to Ron Dennis Criticism at Silverstone
Jenson Button has admitted that he was pleased to do his talking on the track after receiving criticism from McLaren boss Ron Dennis.
The 2009 world champion claimed his highest grid position since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix with third on the grid at the British Grand Prix, before going on to finish fourth, crossing the line within a second of third-placed Daniel Ricciardo.
Button's performance came just days after Dennis had been quoted by Pete Gill of Sky Sports as stating that the 34-year-old, whose F1 future has come under fresh scrutiny, must "try harder."
And the 15-time grand prix winner believes he tried hard enough at Silverstone, telling Sky Sports' Mike Wise:
That’s always the problem when you have a good race after someone says something like that. He said that with a glint in his eye, when he made those comments.
I know Ron pretty well but when you read it in print it obviously looks very different to when you know the man.
We all need a kick up the bum, I think, and we all need to try hard as a team.
We’ve done that this weekend, we’ve made some improvements. It’s nowhere near enough but it’s on the right track.
We all know that we’ve got to do a better job and Ron knows he does as well.
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