Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is trailing Sebastian Vettel by eight points in the title race. In this picture, second place finisher Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 8, 2018 in Northampton, England Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Former Renault Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes Lewis Hamilton could have avoided the collision with Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap on the British Grand Prix on Sunday and had a better chance and still had a chance of winning the race.

The opening lap skirmish between the Mercedes and Ferrari driver was the biggest talking point after the race at Silverstone, especially after Hamilton decided to accuse the Finn of deliberately crashing into him.

It was clear Raikkonen, who trying to take advantage of Hamilton’s poor start from pole position and make up a place, locked his front right wheel and collided with the Mercedes driver. The result was the Briton spinning on the opening lap and dropping down to last place.

Hamilton made a brilliant recovery to finish second at the end of the race — it was a combination of some aggressive driving and a fortunate safety car in the latter stages of the race. Despite that, he was incensed after the race and accused the Ferrari driver of deliberately crashing into him to help eventual race winner and F1 Drivers’ championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

The Mercedes team and their lead driver later recanted their statement with the latter admitting it was "dumb" to make such a comment. Palmer, however, believes the entire episode could have been avoided had Hamilton been cautious after making a poor start rather than aggressively battle Raikkonen for third place.

The former Renault driver feels the four-time world champion should have considered the championship and played it safe as it would have given him a better chance at usurping Vettel, who had taken the lead at the start.

“In my view, Hamilton could have been a bit safer with Raikkonen when the Ferrari driver attacked him into Turn Three on the opening lap, where his race completely turned,” Palmer wrote in his column for BBC Sport. “They were side by side into the corner, Raikkonen on the inside. Hamilton gave him space but took a bit of a risk because he didn't allow Raikkonen any margin for error. As Raikkonen locked up, it was clear he was trying to avoid an accident, but he ended up running into Hamilton's Mercedes.”

“If Hamilton had gone slightly wider around the corner he would then still have had the inside for Turn Four and surely kept the place. They might have still clashed but the risk would have been much reduced, as Raikkonen would have had more space to lock up into on his outside,” the British former Renault driver explained.

“There's no doubt that Hamilton is not to blame for the incident, and the stewards laid it firmly on Raikkonen. But thinking about the championship - and even the race itself - a bit more caution from Hamilton might have been a better option. After all, he had the pace to recover.”