Hamilton explains thinking behind Hungary tactics


Lewis Hamilton has said respect for both Valtteri Bottas and his team; Mercedes was the reason behind his decision to let his teammate retake the lead on the final lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

During the race, Mercedes were experiencing glitches with their pit wall data systems. Hamilton put in a request to be let past Bottas to attack the Ferraris, while Sebastian Vettel was experiencing a steering issue. Hamilton promised his teammate he would allow him back through if he was unsuccessful in his attempts to pass Kimi Raikkonen, who was losing time behind the other Ferrari.

Despite gaining ground on the Finn, Hamilton was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempts to pass and as promised allowed Bottas to retake his advantage.

“Valtteri and I have a great amount of respect for one another,” he said. “Just as the team asked him to do a job and he did it, the same thing came my way. The same rule applies to me. I did it for the team.”

Following the race, Hamilton admitted he had let his head rule his heart when making the decision to switch back on the final corner. He explained his motivation behind asking to take Bottas was because he believed he had a greater chance of winning the race.

“My thought process in that I’m faster than the guy, I think I can have a chance of winning this race, let me go. Give me that chance otherwise we are just wasting potential points for the team. In my mind I’m like if I can’t pull away, I just go into reverse. I think if I had kept my positions — I think there were reasons to — with the risk of the backmarkers and risked letting him back through too late, which is unnecessary when you are fighting for a championship.

“He was seven seconds behind, he had the Red Bull behind him and I had backmarkers around me so it was a little risky but I tried to wait it out and balance it.”

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