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I don't blame Bottas for collision - Vettel

I don't blame Bottas for collision - Vettel

Hamilton leads second-placed Vettel by 24 points after winning the past two races, and the German driver needs little reminding his British rival turned around a 14-point deficit at the same stage a year ago to take the title by 46.

Hamilton also praised Bottas for his selfless driving during the race, when he had to cover the threat of Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, whose early pit-stop, forced Mercedes to follow suit.

Vettel crashed while leading the 2018 German Grand Prix and trailed Hamilton at the last weekend's 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas has given clarification on comments made after the race by Toto Wolff, which inferred he was the team's number two driver.

Hamilton was setting impressive lap times at the front, pulling a 6.5-second gap to Bottas behind him in 14 laps.

For all of Ferrari's new-found speed - estimated at times to be almost 0.5 seconds quicker than Mercedes on some sectors of the track - Vettel remains prone to lapses in concentration and his team makes sloppy errors.

Hamilton's win was the flawless way to finish the first part of the season but that doesn't obscure the fact that the title race could still go down to the wire. In his other two championship-winning years with Mercedes, 2015 and 2017, he took five wins from six races immediately after Hungary and was hopeful of similar this year.

With just five laps remaining, Vettel pulled off a move on Bottas, passing him on the outside heading to Turn 2. To his credit, he did his best to damage the limitation after his off-colour qualifying display, but Ferrari had the quicker vehicle this weekend.

After the race in Hungary, Hamilton said Mercedes held the lead of the title race because, even if Ferrari had the quicker auto, the Silver Arrows had "operated better and been better on strategy".

Hamilton is 17 points clear of Vettel in the standings after 11 races, with Sunday's round the last before the sport's August break.

"I think that boost will last a long time for our team and it's encouraging for everyone so I'm excited about the break", added the Briton.

Vettel and Raikkonen drove well considering both endured a botched pit stop because of a slow tire change.

"Absolutely not. I think it's far too early and you've seen the ups and downs we've had from this year, you've been ahead by some points and behind some points", he said. Still, 20 laps before the end, I was feeling ok.

Bottas hung on to second until a dramatic 66th lap.

"I think we had pretty good speed today".

"A lot can happen moving forward, but what is important is that we continue to keep the pressure on and work as we have done until now". But then he hit traffic, and began to lose time.