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Lewis Hamilton hopes Valtteri Bottas gesture doesn't cost him 2017 F1 title

The three-time champion slowed down for his teammate and lived by his word to give back the place, if he is unable to pass the Ferraris.

3y ago

With Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari car suffering with steering issues, the German had built up a train at the front - being followed by teammate Kimi Raikkonen and the Mercedes pair.

Despite the troubles, both the Ferraris were able to keep the Mercedes pair behind, with the German manufacturer resorting to team orders to try and pass for the win.

The pass was made on Lap 45, going into Turn 1 with Valtteri Bottas letting through Lewis Hamilton, after the Finn was promised that he would get his position back if Hamilton is unable to clear the Ferraris.

The three-time champion, in the end, wasn't able to get through Raikkonen and Vettel. He eventually slowed down to give back the podium position to Bottas, who was seven seconds off the road being chased by Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen.

By doing so, Hamilton kept to his word and also let go three crucial points, which could ultimately backfire when deciding the title - but he hopes it doesn't.

"It's a tough in the championship, but I am man of my word, I did say let me by and if I can't overtake them [Ferrari], I'll let by," said Hamilton.

"Seven seconds seemed tougher and I was nervous about losing a place to Verstappen but fortunately I didn't.

"Hopefully, it shows that I am a team player, I am the man of my word and I won't give up and I hope we don't lose the championship, anything less or more than three points," he added.

Bottas acknowledged Hamilton's fine gesture, even though both the drivers are in the championship fight.

"I was promised that Lewis would let me back if it didn't work out. I was struggling with the back markers so the gap to Lewis became bigger than I wanted.

"But Lewis and the team kept their promise and we swapped positions back in the last lap," said the Finn.

"I don't think every team-mate would do that in a championship fight, so I think that was really nice of him and it shows that he is a real team player."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda also applauded Hamilton's actions and were happy with the public display of team spirit - but even Wolff hoped that the title is not decided because of these three points.

The weekend in Hungary had further dramas for Mercedes after the team lost radio contact with the drivers in the race.

Heading into the summer break, Hamilton is 14 points behind Vettel, with Bottas a further 19 in the drivers' standings.

The constructors' championship has Mercedes having a 39 points lead over Ferrari.

[Image courtesy: Mercedes F1 Team] #F1 #Mercedes #Motorsport #HungarianGP #Formula1

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Comments (3)

  • It won't cost him the title, he'll be much further behind than 3 points.

      3 years ago
  • It might, but anything can happen if Verstappen is in front with Vettel then Hamilton can lead by 11 points next race already

      3 years ago