Lewis Hamilton’S championship hopes were dented as rival Sebastian Vettel held off Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to win the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton finished fourth after he allowed his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas past him on the last corner.
Mercedes had earlier ordered Bottas to move out of the Briton’s way in the hope that he would be able to find a way past Raikkonen and potentially Vettel, too.
But after Hamilton failed, he sportingly let Bottas back past to finish off the podium and lose further ground to Vettel in the title race. Hamilton will head into the sport’s summer break 14 points behind Vettel.
”Thanks to Lewis to keep the promise and let me by after I gave him the shot to get past the Ferraris,” Bottas said. “When the gap was big I knew it could be a problem, but in the end I want to thank the team.”
”It is tough to do that in the championship, but I’m a man of my word,” said Hamilton when asked about his late swap with Bottas.
“Slowing down seven seconds was tough and I was nervous about losing the place to Verstappen, but fortunately I didn’t.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff however, believes the Englishman’s sporting gesture may thwart his title chase.
“We could lose the championship because of those three points,” Wolff said. “But we did that in full consciousness. We stand to our values.”
After winning his first race since May’s Monaco Grand Prix, Vettel said: “I’m over the moon. It was a really difficult race.
“I had my hands full from three or four laps after the safety car. There was something wrong, I don’t know why but the steering started to go sideways.
Hamilton had started fourth on the grid and was down to sixth following the 610m dash to the opening corner after he was gobbled up by both Red Bull drivers. Max Verstappen made his move round the outside of Hamilton, with Daniel Ricciardo diving underneath.
Verstappen however, ran wide at Turn 1. He rejoined the circuit alongside Ricciardo and at the left-handed Turn 2 the Dutchman went in too hot on his brakes and inexplicably thudded into his Red Bull team-mate.
The impact tore through Ricciardo’s Red Bull bodywork and into the radiator, and the Australian spun on his own fluid before grinding to a halt.