HOCKENHEIM, Germany -- Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari showed signs of weakness while indulging in victory celebrations at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won at Silverstone after Hamilton battled back to second following a collision with Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap. The result moved Vettel eight points ahead of Hamilton in the drivers' championship and saw Mercedes accuse Ferrari of orchestrating first lap accidents to gain the upper hand in races.
The reaction may have been triggered by Ferrari rubbing salt in Mercedes' post-race wounds with a series team radio messages, including Vettel saying in Italian: "We had a super car, a great strategy and we did it at their home [race]. Now we take the English flag and hang it in Maranello. Yes!"
But when Hamilton was asked if he planned to escalate the war of words if he won at Vettel's home grand prix on Sunday, he said: "I see that as a weakness rather than a whole need to even say anything [in return if we win in Germany]. For me it's something that we can work with, it doesn't affect me what so ever. Good for him.
"We will keep our heads down, keep ourselves quiet and focus on trying to do a better job across the board.
"That's our approach right now. I hope when we do the job this weekend, it won't be focused on whether we did it on their home ground or anything like that. I don't think that's going to be necessary. We're just trying to do a better job."
Ferrari appeared to step its game up a level at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, with Vettel qualifying just 0.044s off Hamilton at a circuit where Mercedes has recently had the strongest car. But Hamilton is convinced his team will be able to match whatever Ferrari find in terms of performance over the rest of the season.
"Our job is to focus on doing the best we can. I think we have done a really good job considering certain things that we've faced and what they have brought to different races. I have never been so confident with my team, after these past races I have never been so empowered and confident by the things that I have learned that we're facing.
"It will be exciting for you guys to see how things unfold over the coming months. I really truly believe we are strong enough to come back whatever we are faced with. But I wouldn't want it any other way."