Verstappen lacked respect with Bahrain GP move, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton lamented radio issues with his Mercedes team at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but accepted his third-place finish represented "damage limitation".

That should theoretically allow him to go longer in the race before needing to pit, opening up strategic possibilities Mercedes might be able to exploit in the event of a safety auto, like Ferrari did in Australia.

"If I hit you in your face, you're not going to say "oh, Sebastian, that wasn't nice". If you are just out of the vehicle, you are still full of adrenaline, so yeah.

"Lewis, I believe, if my ears are correct, you used the word "dickhead" after the race concerning Max Verstappen and the overtake and the contact", Dekker said.

Hamilton said the team would be reviewing his communications with race engineer Peter Bonnington, while stressing how busy races can be for the guys in the hot seats on the pitwall.

"From the start I was enjoying the feel of the vehicle and finding the gaps and it was shaping up to be an exciting race".

In just the second lap of the race, Verstappen made an overtake on Hamilton but his Red Bull clipped the front of the Mercedes causing a left-rear puncture. Verstappen had started 15th in his Red Bull, after crashing in Saturday's qualifying, and dived down the inside of Hamilton into the first corner at the start of lap two in an attempt to seize 10th.

Verstappen has endured a frustrating start to the 2018 campaign, spinning out of contention at the season-opening Australian GP before crashing out of qualifying in Bahrain - an error that meant he started the race down in 15th.

"From Max's position Lewis should have conceded the corner, given up, and from Lewis's position he's saying Max gave him no room to work with".

He also over-drove in the opening laps of the first race of the season trying to pass Kevin Magnussen's Haas, damaged his auto running off track and then spun, an incident that led to him finishing the race sixth rather than fourth.

"It was a racing incident". "There were things we could have done to make sure we came out ahead".

It was an unnecessary collision.

Vertappen got two races last season, ending the growing season ardently. Ferrari looked strong, with Raikkonen and Vettel setting the pace as cooler temperatures and nightfall matched the conditions for today evening's race. Watch the Chinese GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend.

  • Steve Townsend