Lewis Hamilton has accepted an apology from Kimi Raikkonen for their British GP crash and acknowledged the first-lap collision as “a racing incident”

Immediately after the race, Hamilton had said the move was “interesting tactics” while Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss, said the spate of first-lap crashes by Ferrari drivers into his Silver Arrows cars were either “deliberate or incompetent”.

But in a post released on his Instagram account on Monday, Hamilton said: “Kimi said sorry and I accept it and we move on. It was a racing incident and nothing more. Sometimes we say dumb [things] and we learn from it.”

Mercedes themselves have also clarified on social media that there was “no accusation” from the team, posting on Twitter: “Nobody is seriously suggesting it was deliberate. Kimi made a mistake. Admitted it and apologised to Lewis.”

Raikkonen, who was punished with a 10-second penalty by the stewards, had been quick to admit his fault, telling Sky F1’s Martin Brundle: “I locked the wheel so I ended up hitting Lewis in the rear, I oversteered, he spun, my bad. It was my mistake.”

Hamilton has promised he will “not give up” in what he describes as the “most intense battle we’ve probably all had” after the disappointment of not winning his home British Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s hopes of finishing on the Silverstone podium, let alone claiming a record sixth victory, appeared over after he was spun into the run-off area by Raikkonen and dropped to 18th place. The polesitter had already been overtaken by Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas at the start.

But spurred on by a record 140,000 race-day crowd, the home favourite drove superbly to race back to second place and said on Twitter afterward he “used every ounce of energy lighting up the grid”.

“We’ll take it on the chin and keep pushing hard because believe me I will not give up. I will not give up,” said Hamilton after falling eight points behind race winner Vettel.

Hamilton explained his decision to go straight to the podium cool-down room after the race, rather than stay in parc ferme for the top-three interviews, was because “I didn’t have much to give at that time and needed to take a deep breath”.

“I pushed absolutely 100, 1000 percent,” he added. “Every bit of energy I had. I didn’t have anything left when I came in.

“People expect you to get out of the car and wave and smile and all that. I gave everything I could, I was struggling to stand.”

But while the Englishman could not give the home crowd a result to follow the national football team’s success in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, he praised their support and said it would continue to spur him on throughout the rest of the season.

“The fans have been incredible this weekend and I’m grateful for the England football team at least doing great this weekend and keeping it positive,” said Hamilton.

“Obviously we’re in a tough battle this year and it’s the most intense battle that I think we’ve probably all had but I’m very, very grateful that the car was still in one piece after the first turn three incident.

“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.”

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