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Hamilton questions Vettel punishment after Bottas´ race ´destroyed´

24 Juni 2018 19:28

Lewis Hamilton said Sebastian Vettel "destroyed" Valtteri Bottas' race by crashing into him on the first turn of the French Grand Prix on Sunday and deserved a harsher punishment.

Vettel got away well from third, benefiting from Hamilton's slipstream after lights out at Circuit Paul Ricard, but he locked up at the first corner and clipped the rear of Bottas' Mercedes.

The German was issued with a five-second time penalty and required a new nose for his Ferrari, while Bottas sustained a puncture that forced him into the pits.

Vettel recovered to finish fifth, while the Finn was two places further back after a botched late pit-stop saw him slip behind Kevin Magnussen.

While waiting to go out onto the podium, Hamilton witnessed footage of the collision.

He said: "He took him right out. Ah, man, that's crazy."

Hamilton, who cruised to a win that sent him 14 points clear of Vettel at the top of the drivers' standings, felt Vettel should have received tougher sanctions.

"I've not seen it in detail, they quickly played something back there on the screen," he told a post-race news conference.

"It's disappointing for the team because we had a chance to get a one-two and that's the ultimate goal. Valtteri really had done a solid job all weekend, as he has really been doing this year.

"We are all going into turn one as hard as we could but ultimately when someone destroys your race through an error and it's kind of a tap on the hand really and [they are] just allowed to come back and still finish ahead of that person he took out - it doesn't weigh up.

"Ultimately you shouldn't really be able to finish ahead of him if you took him out of the race. That's the call they made."

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