Hamilton admits mixed feelings over Bottas gesture

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Lewis Hamilton admitted to mixed feelings after allowing Valtteri Bottas though on the final lap to honour a team order agreement at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes pair didn't have the pace to match Ferrari in the first stint in Sunday's race at the Hungaroring and also suffered from radio problems, which were later blamed on a cracked fibre-optic cable, but once the two drivers ran line astern, with Hamilton running behind Max Verstappen in his first stint, and communications were re-established the structure of the race changed.

A steering issue for Sebastian Vettel meant the two Mercedes were faster than the Scuderia on the soft compound tyre with the Briton faster than teammate Bottas. At the three-time champion's request, the two cars changed positions allowing Hamilton to chase the red cars ahead with the caveat that should he fail to pass he would let the Finn back through.

As following the car in front proved very difficult around the medium-to-high speed turns, the 32-year-old couldn't get close enough to Kimi Raikkonen and would wait until the final lap to abide by the agreement made, giving Bottas the final podium place.

“Hopefully the way I drove today and how I behaved at the end, shows that I am a team player and a man of my word," Hamilton said after the race.

"Slowing down seven seconds was tough and I was nervous about losing a place to Verstappen but fortunately I didn't."

With the reasonable gap to Bottas and the threat of the only Red Bull not far behind, Hamilton could have been justified by staying ahead to claim the extra points and perhaps pay Bottas back at a future race.

Asked how hard that decision was for him personally he said it was made: "More from the heart probably. The mind is more cut-throat, every point counts and it's do-or-die.

"But it was the right thing to do," he insisted.

The larger concern is that Hamilton was also willing to give main title rival Vettel a 14-point lead in the standings compared to the 11 it would have been if he had stayed ahead. 

"It's tough in the championship but I'm a man of my word. I hope we don't lose the world championship by anything more than three points,” he concluded.

As for Bottas, he thought the switch back of positions was looking less likely as he fell behind but would praise his teammate for his actions.

"Really thanks to Lewis to keep the promise and let me by in the end because I gave him the shot to try and get past the Ferraris," he said. "It's a shame, we had good pace, in the end, today but with the starting positions, we couldn't finish any better."