F1 digest: Lewis Hamilton set for Mercedes 'crisis talks'

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F1 digest: Lewis Hamilton set for Mercedes 'crisis talks'

Sebastian Vettel leapt to the defence of Lewis Hamilton after his championship rival was questioned about calling Max Verstappen a "d***head" following the Bahrain GP.

"I like to think if I was in that auto today I would have got points for Red Bull".

It was an unnecessary collision.

Both drivers were starting quite a way down the grid after Hamilton's five-place penalty for a gearbox change and Verstappen's crash in qualifying on Saturday.

Hamilton's Mercedes and the Red Bull of Verstappen were involved in a collision early on in the race, when the Dutchman was attempting to overtake.

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.

"I think we had won the race already after coming out on the medium behind Sebastian, with a gap that we were able to close down, and knowing that they would either need to stop once again or they would run out of tyre", said Wolff.

"We will come back strong in China, hopefully".

"At the moment he said that, he was still full of adrenaline", Verstappen, 20, told Het Laaste Nieuws.

"I had a good run onto the straight, going for the inside under braking I was next to him, going into the corner I was ahead".

"We're going to sit down and discuss it and try to work on the points and improve, and I have no doubt we will".

"It's interesting to hear from Christian [Horner] because they have got a auto that should be getting good results and through these kind of..."

Hamilton though felt Verstappen had been too forceful with the move.

Even Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal labeled it a hard racing incident and Hamilton believes it is Verstappen immature actions on the track that is costing them a chance to gain valuable points and challenge Ferrari and Mercedes for the titles. "I think there was still enough space on the left, but he drove into my left rear, gave me a puncture and also destroyed the "diff".

"Our vehicle was great so I'm not going to just stay behind him".

"I tried to avoid... we were battling, I was on the outside and we were relatively alongside each other, but I did back out, I realised I had to. Max dived in on the inside, a good move, bit aggressive pushing Hamilton out but I think most drivers would have done that", he added.

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