Lewis Hamilton has been accused of “crying like a girl” and urged to take up ballet by Kimi Raikkonen’s wife following his collision with the Ferrari driver at the British Grand Prix.
A furious Hamilton and his Mercedes team believed Raikkonen may have crashed into him on purpose to afford Sebastian Vettel free reign at the front of the field.
Vettel won on Hamilton’s home turf to move eight points clear of the Briton, who recovered from last to finish second.
But in a post to Instagram, Minttu Raikkonen, who has been married to the Finnish driver since 2016, wrote: “If you cry like a girl when you lose, do ballet.”
Later, after removing the post, and when addressing a fan who defended Hamilton, she added: “Just to be clear, I was not talking about the driver but the team who was crying afterwards that someone did something on purpose. No he didn’t. It’s called racing.”
Hamilton’s accusations of foul play against Ferrari overshadowed his remarkable comeback drive in front of a record crowd at Silverstone.
The British driver left the Northamptonshire circuit for London in a helicopter on Sunday night before attempting to diffuse his robust remarks.
“Thank you for loving me for being with all my flaws,” the 33-year-old wrote on Instagram. “I know I’m not perfect.
“Accepting who you are and loving yourself are so important. Go be great today and be you and give zero f**** to what anybody thinks.
“Kimi said sorry and I accept it and we move on. It was a racing incident and nothing more. Sometimes we say dumb s*** and learn from it.”
“I’m so disappointed in myself after yesterday’s race when I left you all with the perception of a sore loser as I honestly don’t feel I am and worst most of all, allowed you many the opportunity to s*** on me, lay false claims to my name of which my family and I have worked so hard for,” he wrote.
“But you know what, it’s OK. I can accept that I deserve it mostly and will try to do better and better.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “To put it in James Allison’s words, this is either deliberate or incompetence.” Englishman Allison, Mercedes’ technical chief, left Ferrari in 2016 before joining the Silver Arrows.
“He (Allison) should be ashamed of himself because he worked for many years at Maranello,” Arrivabene said. “He took quite a bit of money from Maranello as well. You have to be elegant and know how to lose.”
Arrivabene, who was speaking to Italian TV, added: “We are here in England. Sometimes they want to teach us how to be gentlemen. He should really start first. This is a lesson for us to stay classy. A thing that they (Mercedes) haven’t done.”