Kimi Raikkonen accepts blame for Lewis Hamilton clash

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The "widespread criticism" of Sebastian Vettel's penalty at the French GP may have played a role in British GP stewards imposing a harsher sanction on Kimi Raikkonen's own first-lap error, says the FIA's Charlie Whiting.

Hamilton bogged down from pole position and was passed by Sebastian Vettel off the line, while Valtteri Bottas relegated his team-mate to third through Abbey.

But Hamilton then collided with Kimi Raikkonen as the Ferrari driver locked up, with the Mercedes spinning off track.

"A five-second penalty (for Vettel in France) and 10-second penalty here spoils our race".

He was slapped with a 10-second penalty and two points on his drivers' licence.

In the end, Hamilton, who also posted the overall lap record, secured a fourth consecutive pole.

Lapping well around the 5.891-kilometre course, Hamilton soon moved into the points and was 25 seconds off Vettel by lap 9, with the German 5 seconds ahead of Bottas at the front.

The Ferrari driver struggled through qualifying on Saturday with sports taping on his neck, admitting he earlier feared he might not be able to race.

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"We'll take it on the chin and keep pushing hard, because believe me I will not give up".

"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". Within ten laps he was running in the top-ten, within 15 he was snorting into the top-five.

Then when Sauber's Marcus Ericsson skidded off with 19 laps left, Hamilton was handed another lifeline with a safety vehicle.

At Silverstone, Hamilton was also sent to the back in the incident, from which he fought back to second place behind Vettel, who now leads the championship from the Briton by eight points.

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.

"It was very close", said the German.

Hamilton and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff were visibly frustrated after the race and went as far questioning whether the crash was a deliberate Ferrari tactic or simply incpompetence. "Nevertheless we knew it was going to be very hard in the end".

We've loosened it up and I think the night will help for the race. "But doing the opposite was the choice we went for and at the end it brought us a P2 and P4 and I think considering how the race started, we need to accept the result as an acceptable outcome with real damage limitation".

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