Vettel, Raikkonen insist clashes with Mercedes were accidental

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen rubbished suggestions they are looking to take out Mercedes drivers after the Finn's collision with Lewis Hamilton on lap one of the British Grand Prix.

Raikkonen crashed into Hamilton at turn three on Sunday, sending the Briton tumbling down the field. 

Although Hamilton recovered impressively to finish second behind race-winner Vettel, the reigning world champion subsequently pointed to "interesting tactics" from Ferrari, having been similarly unimpressed when Vettel clipped Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap in France last month.

In the post-race news conference at Silverstone, Hamilton said: "All I'd say is that it's now two races that the Ferraris have taken out one of the Mercedes, and a five-second penalty [for Vettel] and a 10-second penalty [for Raikkonen] doesn't appear to feel ... ultimately it spoils the race. It's a lot of points that ultimately Valtteri and I have lost in those two scenarios."

Invited to reply to Hamilton's comments, Vettel stated: "Things can happen but I think it's quite silly to think that anything that happened was deliberate.

"I would struggle to be that precise, you know, to take somebody out. In France, I lost my wing so I screwed my race. I think it's easy to obviously attack and have a great move and also easy to have an incident.

"I only saw it [Raikkonen's clash with Hamilton] briefly on the monitor. I don't think there was any intention and I find it a bit unnecessary to even go there."

Raikkonen added: "It's easy to say after the couple of races that we're suddenly doing something against them but we've been hit very many times ourselves so that's how it goes unfortunately. Things happen sometimes."

Hamilton went on to play down his earlier comments when asked if he was "having concerns that there are maybe some interesting tactics going on".

"I'm not. I don't have any concerns," he insisted.

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