Lewis Hamilton showed a remarkable moment of sportsmanship at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix that may cost him the world championship this year. As Sebastian Vettel took chequered flag at the last race before summer break to claim his fourth victory of the season, his main rival acted as a team player and gave back his final spot in the podium to his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas had been ordered by Mercedes to let Hamilton through because he claimed that he had the place to overtake the leading Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Credits to Bottas too for adhering to the team order and letting him go but since Hamilton could not catch them he surrendered the final podium spot back to the Finn.
After moving seven seconds clear of Bottas, and with one eye on the championship race, Hamilton could have been forgiven for holding position. He would have been 11 points behind Vettel had he stayed in third but now he heads into the summer shutdown 14 points adrift of his rival. As traditionally, Vettel is Ferrari’s main man to win the title and they put on a dominant weekend together.
Hamilton started only fourth on the grid and was down to sixth after the opening corner. Max Verstappen made his move around the outside of Hamilton, with Daniel Ricciardo diving underneath the Mercedes but the teenager’s move ended Riccardo’s race for good. However, both drivers shook hands and ended the dispute post race. Fernando Alonso drove a brilliant race and finished sixth for his struggling McLaren-Honda team while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne garnered one point. This was the only race the team seemed competitive on pace since its engine supplier’s comeback into the sport.