Lewis Hamilton Frustrated at Mercedes F1 Team During Bahrain GP

Hamilton emerged unscathed but Verstappen picked up a puncture and damage to his Red Bull's differential which ultimately led to his retirement a lap later.

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 vehicle, like Ferrari did in Australia.

"I think I had the same problem during testing", Verstappen said, per the Express.

"If you are just out of the vehicle, you are still full of adrenaline".

"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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Both Hamilton and Vettel are chasing their fifth World titles this season with the Brit the favourite to claim it given his three titles in the last four years. "I looked at the replay again and my opinion hasn't changed".

The Dutchman divebombed Hamilton on the run down to Turn 1 on the second lap of the race - but with Hamilton attempting to stick it out on the outside, the pair eventually made contact exiting the corner, with Hamilton's wing clipping Verstappen's rear tyre.

"I was really close and there was a chance to overtake, so I thought it was a good opportunity", he explained.

Following the opening two races of the season, Hamilton is yet to take maximum points after finishing second in Australia and third in Bahrain. In Bahrain he crashed in qualifying which forced him to start from 15th on the grid, before the early exit.

Speaking before his grid penalty was revealed, Hamilton said: "We definitely have got some work to do to try and see if we can eke out to be ahead of the others".

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He asked: "I believe, if my ears are correct, you used the word d*ckhead, after the race concerning Max Verstappen and the overtake and the contact, is that correct?"

"It was a racing incident".

Sebastian Vettel: "Can I answer that question?". He also accused the journalist of trying to make up a story.

"I just hope that we're moving forward".

It was an unnecessary collision. As the Finn pulled away, he ran over Francesco Cigarini, who was out of his field of vision, leaving him with a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg. Cigarini was rushed to hospital, where he underwent a successful operation, while Raikkonen retired from the race. Watch the Chinese GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend.

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