Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2017

Vettel first, Raikkonen accepts second and Hamilton gives up third

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The contrasting priorities of Ferrari and Mercedes were plain to see as Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver spent more than half the race coping with a severe handling problem but was in the fortunate position of having team mate Kimi Raikkonen as a buffer between him and the threatening Mercedes.

Vettel’s greatest threat was his championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who pursued the Ferraris in the second half of the race to no avail. After that he surprisingly handed the final place on the podium to his team mate, who earlier in the race had waved him by to attack the red cars.

That handed Vettel a further three-point boost as he went into the summer break having regained the initiative in the championship.

Verstappen ruins Red Bull’s race

Start, Hungaroring, 2017
The Red Bulls attacked Hamilton at the start
As the field accelerated out of turn one on the first lap, Hamilton might have been relieved to learn he would ultimately finish in the fourth position he started from. He had been overwhelmed by the Red Bulls at the start and at that moment looked set to begin the opening phase of the race in sixth.

That changed when Max Verstappen made an impetuous move to reclaim fourth position from his team mate at turn two. He locked a wheel and thudded into the other RB13, inflicting terminal damage on Daniel Ricciardo’s car.

This was a woeful blunder on what had looked like being the team’s strongest weekend so far. Verstappen at least had the sense to admit responsibility afterwards (something the man he replaced at Red Bull failed to do at Silverstone two weeks ago) but this was scant comfort for Ricciardo.

The Red Bull pair had gone into the race with a set of untouched super-soft tyres ready to wield in the closing laps. But with Ricciardo out and Verstappen copping a ten-second time penalty for the blunder, their threat was blunted. Meanwhile a relieved Hamilton knew he was on course for at least fourth place. But could he do better?

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Steering trouble slows Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2017
Vettel and Raikkonen were usually closer than this
Hamilton’s chances received a boost on lap 11 when Vettel’s lap times began to rise. Ferrari had discovered a problem with his steering before the race began and it was now beginning to affect his driving, particularly on the Hungaroring’s demanding series of fast inter-connected corners.

“It was very tricky,” said Vettel, “left-handers to right-handers and then if it keeps changing to adapt. I did try to adapt and I obviously knew that we can’t change it.”

Vettel’s lead over Kimi Raikkonen in second place peaked at just under three-and-a-half seconds, then began to fall. Raikkonen gradually closed the gap until by lap 29 he was hovering just outside of DRS range.

Vettel’s problem was a setback but it was far from debilitating. Valtteri Bottas in third place made next to no impression on him until the final laps of his stint.

Ferrari faced a straightforward dilemma: Keep Vettel ahead through the pit stops or allow Raikkonen to jump ahead of his team mate? The former was obviously preferable from a championship point of view as Vettel arrived in Hungary with more than twice as many points as his team mate.

Arguably it was also the sensible thing to do to give them the best chance of scoring a one-two in the race, as Raikkonen could protect Vettel from any threat from behind. Whichever argument tipped the debate, Vettel stayed ahead because Raikkonen was brought in to the pits immediately after him. “I had the speed to stay out,” Raikkonen grumbled on the radio, no doubt remembering this was exactly how Vettel had been allowed to beat him in Monaco.

Hamilton goes after the Ferraris

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2017
Hamilton went on a charge
Once the drivers had completed their first and, for the most part, only pit stops, Hamilton had regained his fourth position and was rapidly closing on his team mate. Hamilton had wanted to extend his first stint but was unable to tell his team due to radio problems.

His pace remained strong after changing to the softs and now he was bearing down on Bottas. To his relief, Mercedes solved their radio trouble and Hamilton was able to urge them to swap positions between their cars.

Mercedes allowed him through on the condition that he would give Bottas his position back. Hamilton quickly got after the Ferraris, taking up to seven-tenths of a second out of them per lap.

But once he got a second away from Raikkonen his progress slowed to almost nothing. Even when he got within DRS range of the Ferrari the Mercedes never threatened a pass. Raikkonen often had the benefit of DRS from his team mate, keeping him safe on the Hungaroring’s short straights.

In front of them Vettel was continuing to manage his ailing machine. “I tried to save the car, we spoke a little bit on the radio about it.”

“I was talking through the problem and they told me to avoid the kerbs, which I was doing already, but on a track where you use the kerbs nearly on every corner it’s obviously also compromising your performance.”

It gradually became clear that unless Vettel’s problem dramatically worsened the running order was unlikely to change. And so it proved. Then on the final lap he received an added bonus courtesy of his closest championship rival.

Hamilton sacrifices his podium

Bottas had been told to stay close to his team mate so Mercedes could swap the positions back if needed. But having been two seconds behind Hamilton on lap 56, Bottas slipped back quickly thereafter and was increasingly under threat from Verstappen.

As the final lap began Hamilton was almost eight seconds ahead of Bottas, while Verstappen was almost within DRS range of the second Mercedes. Hamilton could have used the threat of the Red Bull behind as justification for not giving his place back to Bottas.

But surprisingly he went through with it. Hamilton backed off his pace to a huge extent, taking over a minute and a half to complete his final lap, and let Bottas through into third at the final corner while keeping Verstappen tucked up behind.

It was a commendable act of sporting integrity which had a real cost to Hamilton. He’d arrived in Hungary one point behind Vettel in the championship, and letting Bottas through boosted his rival’s advantage by an extra three points.

Alonso ‘best of the rest’

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2017
Alonso produced one of the race’s few passes
The first five cars arrived home within 13 seconds of each other. After that there was a wait of almost a minute for the only other car still on the lead lap: Fernando Alonso’s McLaren.

The two-times champion delivered another bravura performance to claim ‘best of the rest’ honours at a track where the disadvantage of McLaren’s Honda power unit was minimised. He spent the first half trying to get past Carlos Sainz Jnr, then followed the Toro Rosso into the pits for their only pit stop. He pounced once they rejoined the track, sweeping around Sainz on the outside of turn two.

Behind Sainz came the two Force Indias despite the pair once again making contact. Stoffel Vandoorne ran long in the first stint in a fruitless bid to get in front of the Force Indias. He nonetheless claimed his first point of the season with tenth place, taking the chequered flag right on Esteban Ocon’s tail.

Daniil Kvyat and Jolyon Palmer were promoted to 11th and 12th after Kevin Magnussen was given a five-second penalty for elbowing Nico Hulkenberg aside in turn two. Hulkenberg, whose race had already been ruined by a slow tyre change, later retired in the pits.

Only two other drivers dropped out following Ricciardo’s exit. Romain Grosjean arrived in the pits early due to a loss of air pressure in a tyre, then was sent back out with a cross-threaded wheel nut and had to stop.

Paul di Resta, who did a commendable job after taking Felipe Massa’s place in time for qualifying without having practiced, was called in with ten laps to go. Williams later said they had seen a drop in oil pressure. As Di Resta wasn’t classified, the team will be able to fit a new gearbox for the next race without penalty.

Vettel leads into the summer break

The pressure had built on Ferrari ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hamilton had reduced Vettel’s lead to a single point.

But at a track which suited the Ferrari well Vettel shrugged off his handicap and took maximum advantage. While Ferrari demonstrated a clear preference for the contest between their drivers, Mercedes showed an even-handedness which could come back to haunt them.

Hamilton gave up three points in Hungary. He lost last year’s title by five. But after the summer break come a pair of high-speed tracks where he surely expects his Mercedes can overwhelm the Ferraris.

127 comments on “Vettel first, Raikkonen accepts second and Hamilton gives up third”

  1. Kimi should have done what Seb did in China. Instead of relying on decisions from the wall, he shouldn’t be surprised next time he is asked if the motivation is still there

    1. Only problem compared to China is that this was a difficult track to overtake on.

    2. RAI was stuck behind RIC for many laps, VET passed RAI and in a couple of laps passed RIC.

      That’s the difference

    3. I wish he would have said, ‘bwoah, tough luck’, and undercut Vettel in the pits.

    4. @johnmilk @keithcollantine Go take a look at the lap chart When Kimi comes out of the pits Bottas is 1.9s behind, before Bottas pitted he was 6 s behind the undercutting was working, even Kimi’s only lap of free air cost him time, he lost 2.2 and 2.5 secs to the Mercs, new tyres were clearly going to overhaul Kimi had he stayed an extra lap, to prioritize Kimi, Ferrari would have had to pit Kimi first.
      Ferrari didn’t use team orders, and Kimi didn’t force them to do so, Kimi tried to overtake but it was still too hard to overtake.

      1. To be fair though, Bottas would have been slowed down by Vettel somewhat, so it is really the question whether Räikönnen would have come out ahead of Vettel or not. However, he didn’t manage to overcut Vettel in one lap, and it is questionable whether he could have done so in the next lap. Trying would have meant risking ending up behind Bottas (and potentially Hamilton).

        Overall, I think that for once Ferrari’s strategy was spot on. I wouldn’t say they used team orders either to keep Räikönnen behind. You could see he was trying to overtake but it was impossible to make an overtake stick without taking significant risks. And he clearly wasn’t allowed to take significant risks.

        @peartree

  2. Painfull to see that even with a handicapped front runner (steering wheel) still there is no chance to overtake. This aero on the front wing is something that needs to be tackled.

    1. joe pineapples
      31st July 2017, 11:42

      Agreed

    2. Indeed @mayrton, but no one is listening though. We’ve been talking about these front wings for the last 10 years and all that happens is they get larger and more complex. My mantra has always been wider tyres less aero – they seem to have got one of these correct but then they go and stipulate wider front wings again to increase car speeds which is not actually necessary.

      The race at Hungary was one of the worst I’ve seen at that track in recent years there solely due to the dirty air problem, which going back to 2009 seems not to have been properly addressed. My despair on this matter slowly morphs to indifference.

      1. @john-h Your last sentence is spot on. Last hope I have is Brawn. I would love to see this millimeter close racing and slipstreaming again….

        1. All I can say is give Liberty/Brawn a chance. They’ve been running the show for half a season. They have said they will change deliberately and not in a knee jerk way. Can we give them a little patience? And Pirelli had to compromise on the tires due to the lack of enough testing on a proper 2017 car. We are only just out of the long standing BE era.

          1. The FIA write the regulations and “run the show” where this is concerned, not Ross Brawn.

          2. The problems with F1 are pretty much are the fault of the FIA.

          3. @john-h Yeah right. Like there is no communication between FOM and FIA…like Brawn and Todt don’t have history together. Did BE affect F1 via Moseley and Todt? Then why wouldn’t Liberty? Last I heard, the teams have some say. Whether you think FIA acts on it’s own or not, the fact is Brawn has a mandate via Liberty to grow F1 in a sensible long-term way. Are you saying his job is redundant?

          4. Your comment said they “run the show” @robbie and my comment said, well no they don’t. The V6 engine formula against FOM wishes is one such example.

            Sure they will work together, but I’m pointing out it’s the FiA that write the rules and too often this is forgotten. And no I’m not saying his job is redundant at all, you’re putting words in my mouth.

          5. @john-h Fair comment. By ‘run the show’ I just meant the FOM side of the show, and have always understood FIA’s side of the equation.

            This conversation starting with @mayrton is about dirty air and front wings and that is exactly the type of thing Brawn has talked about addressing, sensibly, and for the long term, which is why I threw out the ‘run the show’ comment. I believe Brawn will rally FOM and Todt to head F1 toward a better product on the track and grow the sport resultingly.

    3. You can’t change the front wing laddie, it will ruin any change of Mercedes or Red Bull to have any advantage… A simpler front wing will help the competition far more than new enginers or a lauder sound (that I don’t really undertstand why it’s needed thou). My kids like F1 as it is, since they can enjoy it without headphones, we can talk during the race, focus more on the race itself so in my opinion the sound is OK.

      1. “chance” not change :P

  3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    31st July 2017, 11:42

    I can agree Hamilton definitely did sacrifice his podium, but the team effectively would have made Bottas sacrifice his podium if Hamilton had got past either of the Ferrari’s. But it will have been a better result for the team if that happened. Bottas was the one who let Hamilton past first of all. And considering Kimi couldn’t get past Vettel who had a small issue, I think it is very unlikely Hamilton could have got past Bottas in the end either even with the extra pace he had. Towards the end of the race, overtaking will have just got harder and harder. Overtaking is already incredibly difficult here. And considering he’d been stuck behind for 13 laps really close up, I couldn’t really see things changing if he hadn’t been let by. The team made the right decision and I respect both Hamilton and Bottas for what they did. But Hamilton will have almost certainly had 3rd if he’d qualified better which is very important here. The title suggests it is more Hamilton giving up 3rd than Bottas when it is quite likely that Bottas would have been 3rd anyway if no team orders had been involved. I know Hamilton did give up 3rd in the end, but it was because Bottas “gave up” his position that almost certainly got him here.

    It was slightly risk of Hamilton to do what he did. But Verstappen had been around 1.5 seconds behind Bottas for several laps. Hamilton backed off and could have seen if Verstappen was too close to risk it. if that was the case, Hamilton could just make sure he got 3rd at the last moment which will have been easy enough. But he saw the opportunity and let Bottas through. Nice to see both team mates cooperating well.

    1. Poor Hamilton. He didn’t get past Ferrari and had to give the place back. It if he had stayed behind Bottas the team might have waved him past to allow him to r in from Versappen.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        1st August 2017, 13:22

        But Verstappen couldn’t get past Bottas even when in the DRS range. I doubt he could have got past Hamilton either. Effectively, qualifying was what matters here. Bottas will have almost certainly done enough to get 3rd anyway without team orders. It was qualifying that will have made this happen. It was worth doing what they did but was only fair for Hamilton to give it back as he din’t manage to gain the team any more points than if Bottas had stayed ahead. He did say he would give it back if he couldn’t gain a position. But we have to respect both drivers for letting each other through.

  4. Massively impressed by Hamilton giving the place back to Bottas.

    Bear in mind it will probably pay off in the long run. He needs Bottas on side for the second half of the championship. There may well be a race that Bottas has to let Hamilton through and loose a podium or even a win himself.

    So whilst this is a very gentlemanly move by Hamilton, the loss of 3 points will probably be paid back multiple times in the next 9 races.

    1. Honestly (and I’m far from being a Lewis fan), it was a really sportsmanlike gesture because let’s not forget that Bottas is a rather realistic contender for the WDC, 19 points behind Hamilton.

      1. Which makes bottas initial move of letting hamilton pass even more gentleman… bottas is in the championship fight and gives up a position to another champioship challenger that qualified behind him and could not pass him in real racing during the race… and in blind faith he let his teammate pass- that is more brave as far as im concerned. Bottas might only get one chance at an f1 championship (this year), other drivers like dirty verstappen have ignored these team orders.

      2. How HAMILTON gain this third position? He fought for it?

        1. When? Over the radio?

    2. I dont look at it that way. It was team orders, bottas obeyed, and so hamilton obeyed, nothing heroicbor nice gesture on hams side. Hamilton would have been slammed post race if he did not return the position, because mr “i am a man of my word” has history: “i will not back up rosberg” nov 2016. also both bottas and hamilton are in the championship hunt, so disobeying a team order this early in season could be costly, and im sure hamilton is on warning following the last race of last season.

    3. And yet again we have more comments saying how great Lewis is whilst ignoring the fact he was handed the position in the first place. Bottas out qualified Hamilton was in position on merit. He gave up that position in order for the team to try and score more points and once it became apparent that wouldn’t happen, he got his spot back. Bottas didn’t complain about moving over and didn’t say “if he’s quick enough, he can pass me” like Lewis has said in the past – he just did it for the good of the team.

      1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
        31st July 2017, 14:38

        Hamilton is being praised because Seb in a million years would never have done the same thing.

        1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
          31st July 2017, 14:39

          Moreso, he genuinely put himself in the firing line to finish 5th but he put he word first.

          1. @offdutyrockstar Not true, Verstappen had a 10 second penalty, hence even if he finished ahead of both in some way he would still be classified behind both.

          2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            31st July 2017, 17:51

            @xtwl wrong. It was a 10 second stop go penalty and he served it in his one and only pitstop. Did you even watch the race?

          3. @offdutyrockstar Apologies, I thought he just had it added to his overall racetime. Must’ve been sleeping during his pitstop,…

          4. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            31st July 2017, 18:42

            @xtwl now that we can agree on. I took my nap around lap 40 ;)

        2. And you know that exactly how, are you VET?

          1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            31st July 2017, 15:26

            Because Multi 21 happened. Oh and he only agreed to sign another Ferrari contract if his whipping boy Raikonnen was part of the deal, don’t kid yourself.

          2. Because Multi 21 happened

            I don’t see how HAM’s record would be percveived as cleaner before the race though – especially prior to Baku Anyway.

            VET: Turkey 2010, Silverstone 2010, the KAR cucumber thing (crash wasn’t VET’s fault but I don’t see how calling anyone that is a good idea), multi 21, etc
            HAM: Liegate, H.A.M-Hard as a mofo, Maybe it’s because I’m black (I mean seriously? – thankfully those days have been far behind him for ages now), (not real, but still) telemetry, etc

            neither were/are angels.

          3. @offdutyrockstar The entire “Raikkonen in his contract”, do you have any proof apart from some wild guessing? Happy to see it.

          4. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            31st July 2017, 17:48

            @xtwl why yes of course, I keep all F1 drivers correspondence in a special folder, afraid I can’t show it to you though sorry.

            In all seriousness, we know Seb doesn’t like a competitive teammate (see Danny Ric) and we know Raikonnen is way past his time. Don’t you think the STRONG rumours surrounding this add up somewhat? If Leclerc ends up in the 2nd Ferrari seat next year I will happily eat my words because that kid would wipe the floor with what Kimi is doing at present.

          5. @offdutyrockstar Rumours in the paddock, or myths created by fans? Sebastian has no issues with ‘competitive’ teammates, he’s as much a fighter as any other driver in the paddock, that being said all drivers also like a teammate of which they know they can beat. If you really believe Hamilton for example would welcome Alonso with open arms for the sake of the challenge you’re most likely just plain wrong. Most people are pretending this exists because he drives at Ferrari which has had a strong 1-2 policy in the past yet they couldn’t have known when they hired Kimi off a good 2013 he would be demolished by Alonso and now Vettel.

        3. multi 21 seb, multi 21

      2. That’s the point. It was an example of great teamwork, and teamwork only works when everyone involved does what they’re supposed to. The ‘five laps deadline’ was the only flaw, because the best shot at an overtake could come later in the race (as it did), but In the end it was perfect: Bottas let Hamilton go, Hamilton backed off on the last lap to give the position back. Hats off to both of them.

  5. It could benefit Hamilton at some point in the future to keep Bottas on side. He gave up 3 points here but maybe later in the season he needs Bottas to give up 7 points for a win

    1. Well yeah. How about next time he wants Bottas to pull over and let him past? Can you imagine him obliging if Hamilton had cheated him out of a position here?

  6. I don’t think it was a straight away “let’s give Seb the victory” Ferrari decision.
    First of all, I think they didn’t want to meddle with the race on the track, and Kimi would not have been able to pass Sebastian in any case.
    When Lewis was approaching and the victory might have been in danger, from a team perspective Sebastian was the more vulnerable target, so protecting it meant protecting a 1-2 finish; of course it was good from a Driver’s Championship point of view to have Vettel lead, but one could argue that the 1-2 finish would have been more under attack if Kimi and Seb had switched following a team order (the only way they would have switched). So it was very logical to keep Seb in front, thinking of probabilities and outcomes for the team. The chance to maximize points was better that way, and that is what they did.

    1. Finally a sensible response on this matter. Ferrari did the only thing they could to protect the 1-2.

    2. I think you’re right in that there were plenty of factors involved but simply put, if it was Vettel in 2nd, I think they’d have made the switch.

      1. I get your point, but we haven’t seen that happening yet, and I kinda doubt we will see it.

        1. Yeah I think that Seb had earned his spot and a great chance to take back a more substantial lead in the WDC chase. I’m sure if his problem was worse or worsening they might have had to have Kimi take over the lead and keep the 25 points away from LH, but Seb’a problem was never too sever to have to have him give up those 25 points.

          I think the fact that they were leaving Seb alone to try to take the win, forced Merc to have LH pass VB and see what he could do about the two Ferraris. In spite of the admiral part where LH hands back the spot, they were obviously prepared to hang VB out to dry in spite of their spirit of fairness.

  7. Too much is made of Hamilton’s “noble sacrifice” because no such ever took place! Bottas was told to let Hamilton past to have a go at Räikkönen for five laps “before we switch back”. When the five laps were up with Hamilton still behind (and not making much progress truth be told), he was given another five and when those were gone, a sort of indefinite extension.

    Now imagine Hamilton had held on to third after all those *very public* radio Ga-ga messages from the team! Both Mercedes and Hamilton would have been exposed as ruthless liars! The truth is that there was no choice for either but to give Bottas back *his* third place so please, stop kidding yourselves!

    1. I think you will find that on a number of occasions drivers have given way thinking they might be let back into position if it did not pay off and the position was not given back for the excuse that the rear driver was too far behind or that the rear driver had someone close behind them so it was too risky. Hamilton could have easily used either of those excuses to keep hold of third but chose to stay true to his word instead.

      Also I am not aware that there was any stipulation of 5 laps (that would seem very few laps to catch and pass the ferraris)

      1. I think hamilton was not penalised by mercedes after last race last year for disobeying team orders and was given a deal that if he disobeys team orders again there will be a punishment. That is the reason i believe hamilton handed back the place, i dont trust his ‘i am a man of my word’

        1. His disobeying of team orders last year drew an apology from the team after the race as they admitted that it was a little bit of a bizarre order. He was going faster than rosberg at the time and rosberg could not get close. He said over the radio that if Niko was going fast enough then he would let him through. Niko fell further back…

          So he did not get penalised because the team admitted that they got it wrong…

      2. > Also I am not aware that there was any stipulation of 5 laps (that would seem very few laps to catch and pass the ferraris)

        I read in the f1fanatic live and in the Movistar broadcast the 5 laps deal

    2. Ham told the team he should swap back as he had no chance and they told him to stay out.

    3. Sticky Steve
      31st July 2017, 12:44

      Exactly that Henrik.

    4. Spot on Henrik.
      I wonder how Keith missed the very first sacrifice: Bottas ushering Hamilton through! This is were we need to start. Bottas was slower, but Bottas had position due to him being faster in qualy. Now he played extremely fair and virtually sacrificed his podium because had Ham passed Kimi – or had Seb’s car failed, he would’ve handed the win to his title rival! That is a true, and some might argue very naive, team player.
      Toto had to either impose clear orders and Lewis takes the podium, or let the two race, or show preferential treatment to the faster driver and give him a shot; he opted for the latter. Now for Lewis to take advantage of such kindness and issue himself team orders would’ve caused big issues in the team.
      I think Toto made the right call; when we’re in the last three of four races, Valterri will surely help Lewis and it will pay dividends – not just three points.

      1. @makana

        I wonder how Keith missed the very first sacrifice: Bottas ushering Hamilton through

        Wonder no longer: It wasn’t missed, it’s right there in the article.

        1. @keithcollantine Still can’t find it ;) but I guess the point is there.

      2. @makana Exactly. Everyone including Hamilton (he even said so before the race) knew there was no getting past on this track, the swap was simply to maximize Hamilton’s chances should a Ferrari drop out as it was clear at least one had troubles. It was not really for Hamilton ‘to have a go’, that’s why they predictably let him stay there long after his 5 laps were gone and it was obvious he wasn’t making any more headway than Bottas.

        It was clear preferential treatment and there’s no ‘fair’ policy at Mercedes or with Hamilton, we’ve seen this already. They just swapped back at the end for fear of being booed. That’s all it was. (still not clear if Hamilton was ordered to do so on the last lap, or he did it himself, all the journalists missed this obvious question)

        People hailing Hamilton for not stealing something he had been lent, in reality just shows what standards they hold him to.

        1. @balue
          People hailing Hamilton for not stealing something he had been lent, in reality just shows what standards they hold him to. – +1

      3. The Skeptic
        31st July 2017, 23:16

        Don’t forget – the additional pace of Hamilton over Bottas on the soft tyres was very impressive. Bottas could not even hold a 2 second margin.

        Mercedes had to let the faster driver attack… that was the only logical option. Bottas really had no choice but to let Hamilton past as a result. All he had to do was lift slightly on the straight, and the job was done.

        On the other hand, Hamilton had to slow down massively on the last lap to let Bottas past. He dawdled around turns 11, 12 and 13 , allowing cars to unlap themselves from him to bring Bottas back into play for turn 14 and the short run to the finish line. That was the sporting gesture that is being praised.

    5. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      31st July 2017, 14:41

      Seb would never have given back third let alone expose himself to the very real chance of losing yet another place to Max. It was sportsmanlike and fair and you sound far from objective on the matter, like most Hamilton detractors.

      1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
        31st July 2017, 14:42

        And if you think otherwise, google Multi 21.

        1. Google Silverstone 2011

          1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            31st July 2017, 15:31

            @oletros where Hamilton drove from 10th to a podium position only to run out of fuel and have to finish 4th? Yeh that was a great drive. What’s your point?

          2. Webber dissobeying team orders?

            And after googling it, google Turkey 2009

          3. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
            31st July 2017, 15:40

            Sorry mate Webber’s retired.

          4. > And if you think otherwise, google Multi 21.

            > Sorry mate Webber’s retired.

            Great level

          5. @oletros
            Great level – Yup, a lot of the ham-fans don’t bother themselves with such a thing as reasoning.

    6. Too much is made of Hamilton’s “noble sacrifice”

      I don’t know who you’re quoting there but it isn’t me.

      1. I don’t think he meant the article, @keithcollantine

      2. @keithcollantine @magon4
        He may not have been quoting, but he definitely could have been paraphrasing.

      3. @keithcollantine – Reader’s comments on other articles, but to be fair Keith you *did* say “Hamilton sacrifices his podium” and as an in-article headline at that, which is virtually saying exactly the same. Please imagine what Hamilton and Toto Wolf would have been asked post-race had Hamilton NOT handed the position back:

        – Toto, recently you have made much noise about Vettel being number one at Ferrari but that in contrast, Mercedes are fair and allow the drivers to race. How do you reconcile this with your order to let Hamilton through and the broken promise to Bottas that he would get his position back if Hamilton failed to get past Räikkönen?

        – Lewis, congratulations on your number one status at Mercedes. How does it feel to stand on the podium on the back of false promises?

        Keith, in the final analysis I think that you will have to agree that there was no “sacrifice” or “his podium” involved here, only common sense in light of what would otherwise have transpired.

    7. Bottas had to give away the position because he was slow and couldn’t close on Ferrari.
      Hamilton swap get more attention because he was more than seven seconds ahead on the start of the last lap, so in reality he didn’t needed to do it hence the fact Bottas was much slower, but they kept their word.
      Ferrari is protetcting Vettel since Monaco, it’s time for Mercedes to do the same.

      1. @edmarques Well in reality Mercedes did ‘protect’ LH. They ordered VB to cede the position to LH. It is only circumstance that saw VB get his points back. Had LH gotten past KR and gone after SV VB would have lost out and we would be talking about how VB is now the designated number 2 on the team. I still see him as that, given their decision to favour LH to begin with. Just because LH failed to use what he was given doesn’t mean he wasn’t handed the opportunity to begin with.

        Oh I do get that LH was faster, but most of the time that just means you pass the guy in front and move on. Ok at Hungary that’s easier said than done, and ok SV was looking to grab 25 points….therefore LH got handed an opportunity by team order, and squandered it.

        VB will not have an opportunity for the WDC this year.

    8. I was thinking it might have been a whole lot more exciting for Bottas and Hamilton to scrap it out for 3rd place.

      Let them race. This is what Mercedes claims they allow, yet they dare not risk their two drivers racing hard and possibly losing constructor points.

      Right now I have the feeling Mercedes is so concerned with doing the right thing, that they would sooner their drivers share the available points, so neither driver is promoted ahead of the other.

      This strategy of sharing points might lead to a harmonious garage, but it means Mercedes without an obvious mechanical edge may end up gifting the championship to their rivals, as their rivals persue a completely goal centered strategy to achieve the title.

  8. Henrik, there was actually another consideration that people are overlooking. At the five laps mark Vestappen was coming on very quickly. Had Merc put Lewis behind Bottas then they would have had both drivers exposed. Lewis was quicker and out of danger at the time, and so it made no sense to do a swap until such time that they were sure that both drivers were safe.

    1. A perfectly valid point, Richly. What I react against is the post-race hype about Hamilton’s supposed “nobility” in “sacrificing” *his* podium when the in-race radio messages to Bottas clearly stated that Mercedes’ intention was to give Hamilton a shot at Räikkönen for five laps after which the positions would be switched back if he hadn’t gotten past.

  9. The disrespect Bottas is receiving in this situation is outstanding. What no one seems to be mentioning or understand is, what happens if Bottas wins the title by three points?

    1. @sward28 What would be the issue there?

      I mean, I don’t think we’d really mind if HAM wins by 2 points (things like Austria 2002 was much worse anyway), but we would much less with Bottas.

        1. @sward28

          it was because Lewis gave up his podium

          How so?

          1. @davidnotcoulthard There is a three point difference between 3rd and 4th.

          2. @sward28 If it was BOT who waved HAM by to begin with, though, how would that be relevant?

    2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      31st July 2017, 14:45

      I don’t think any genuine fan of the sport would begrudge Bottas winning the title this year, and I am a Lewis supporter. He’s driven very well, particularly in qualifying and is just a nice likeable guy. If anything it would be refreshing to see the warring egos of Lewis and Seb undone by a quiet unassuming Fin! Kind of like 2007 except Kimi is now anything but quiet and unassuming lol.

    3. But he won’t.

    4. @sward28 Totally. Although I lost a bit of respect for Bottas profusely thanking the team and Hamilton for giving back what was his. Have some pride for godssake. It was slightly shameful.

    5. @sward28 – Another perfectly valid point, but what I react against is the post-race hype about Hamilton’s supposed “nobility” in “sacrificing” *his* podium when the in-race radio messages to Bottas clearly stated that Mercedes’ intention was to give Hamilton a shot at Räikkönen for five laps after which the positions would be switched back if he hadn’t gotten past.

  10. Terrible error by Hamilton. The deal, as it was, was voided by Bottas when he failed to keep up with Hamilton and even saw his own position put at risk. The team even warned Bottas of this situation. And it seems to me the closeness of the swap with Verstappen was incredibly foolish. How could the team really risk two positions in favor of a net gain of zero? For sporting integrity?

    1. It’s interesting because I too thought it had been left too late and the agreement was surely voided when Bottas fell 8 seconds back.

      He was told to keep up and completely failed to do so yet was gifted a podium that nearly cost them a place.

      I like the guy but I would have been embarrassed to accept that podium frankly.

      I mean his pace on softs was terrible – and for all those ‘he earned it in qualifying’ you need to drive at 150-200 mph with out of balance wheels. It’s awful. To have two sets like that’s? Sorry but Pirelli are once again managing the championship.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        31st July 2017, 16:07

        It wasn’t a risk what Hamilton did really. Verstappen had been out of DRS range over the last few laps of Bottas and was around 1.5 seconds off on the last lap. Verstappen’s strong pace had decreased towards the end too. Hamilton may have seen this on the timing screens. There was nothing risky about slowing down just before the line so long as he had sight of Bottas and could tell Verstappen was far enough behind. If Verstappen was too close to risk it, he could have stopped backing off and taken 3rd very easily. He could see that the gap was big enough so it was a fair decision. I respect him for that as he did say he’d give it back if he couldn’t get past the Ferrari’s. I don’t agree with Drg that Bottas was “gifted” a podium though. I am going to be another one of those people who said he did it in qualifying and beat Hamilton there. It was obvious that qualifying was extremely important indeed here. Bottas will have almost certainly have kept 3rd if he hadn’t given the position to Hamilton anyway. So that already explains that it wasn’t gifted. He qualified 3rd and the lack of overtaking showed how important that was. A faster Kimi couldn’t overtake Vettel who had a steering issue, so I very much doubt Hamilton could have got past Bottas even though he had more pace. The team, Bottas and Hamilton did the right thing though. Respect to all of them. It was well worth doing what they did as Hamilton was quicker, but as Bottas had to move to let Hamilton by and loose a position, it was only fair of Hamilton to give it back if he couldn’t gain anything higher than that position. He did just what he said he would.

  11. Regarding Ferrari’s decision to keep the running order: two cars also provide more dirty air than just one. Hamilton might have gotten a run on a single car in the 30 laps or so, but with two cars running ahead of him separated by a bit over a second it would be impossible to find a way through. A 1-2 could’ve been turned into a 1-3.

    And Hamilton’s sportsmanship: isn’t that exactly how it should go? In the few previous seasons we’ve seen a few examples of these switcheroos (didn’t Red Bull do something similar in Monaco a few seasons ago?), maybe it’s just that this time it’s a championship contender that causes so much fuss.

    1. Errr you really need to google multi 21 – that right there will explain matters.

      1. multi 21 is not as clear cut as you seem to think.

      2. Google Turkey 2009

        1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
          31st July 2017, 15:40

          @oletros where Vettel fell off the track on the first lap and threw away a win. Yeh that was pretty entertaining

          1. Great level

    2. Jake (@jagged-jake)
      31st July 2017, 16:48

      @kaiie when it comes to Lewis matter I never take you serious. You expressed your dislike of him from the day you joined the blog & you never disappoint in your relentless loathe of the sportsman….

      1. @jagged-jake Jeez I don’t remember F1F being filled with this type of comments years ago.

        That said @kaiie that may be how it should go but I still think it’s at least a wee bit remarkable that it happened anyway, since despite being what should happen sometimes things like this just don’t get orchestrated well, with problems perhaps with one of the team’s drivers or the other (or both), IMHO.

  12. Its you again.

    Look pal why not just clear off and leave the adults to discuss the sport they are interested in.

    I am sure you will find a home on some other sites that will keep you happy.

    Here, I for one am frankly tired of you childish comments.

    1. This was for ‘Anon’ who seems to have vanished…

  13. And you seem to have first hand experience of being a brat, Anon. Clear off, no-one will miss you.

    1. Ahhh – I guess that thread got deleted – good job too !

  14. I feel Lewis is super intelligent. Everybody winning about the 3 points he returned to BOT. Think of them as an insurance. Any future swap of 1st-2nd will signify 7 points. And after this good faith display, BOT will gladly handle not 1 but whatever he is asked. BOT will have 2018 to fight for the championship with a 3 years contract. I’m not a HAM fan. But he is thinking. He is thinking the right way. When a good pair of hands think….transform a champ in a superchamp. Kudos Lewis.

    1. MarcSaunders
      31st July 2017, 15:32

      The one who´s not that clever is Kimi. He MUST support his team now that he has no serious title chances. He is actually doing it but every time complaining and showing a ridiculous discomfort face in the podium. If he started a fight with Vettel, he would have weakened Vettel´s already complex situation and Ferrari could have lost one of its drivers and 18 points with him.

    2. @mumito I don’t think he’s planning for retribution. As it has happened this season and in fact in Hungary Mercedes is going to ask is out of contract driver to let Hamilton past. It’s also clear that they’ve always acted in the team’s best interest. The only news is that this time Lewis gave the position back now that Bottas can be seen as title contender. I think it was quite transparent from Lewis, remarkable attitude, on that Mercedes didn’t demand of him. Bottas I’m certain would yield, later on, if that meant losing a win for Lewis title.

  15. Mercedes could have stipulated on Bottas’s one year contract that he was the support driver this year. Hamilton is their three time world champion driver and after all the issues Hamilton had last year with his car and Rosberg’s unsporting collisions with him he deserves to be given number one status in the team this year. It is especially necessary as Vettel is the obvious number one at Ferrari.

    In the Hungarian race as Hamilton first came across Bottas the path should have been cleared for his attack at the Ferraris. He may well have come second or even won the race with the fresher tires, more laps and some luck. It was most probably many championship points lost for Hamilton and the team.

    Giving the drivers equal standing when in a battle with a team using an alternative and stronger strategy may look to Mercedes like fair play but to many outside the team it looks like idiocy. Bottas is only in the seat as he was the best of the few drivers available in the short window offered to find Rosbergs replacement. Sad though that sounds, it’s the truth which is why he is on a one year contract.

    So many comments on various F1 comment sections start with ” I don’t like Hamilton but what he did was sporting….” This is because they are mostly Ferrari supporters and see that Mercedes handicapping their own best driver is an even surer way for Ferrari to win the championships. After so many years of trying and failing this year appears Ferrari’s best chance of winning. Add to this the FIA letting Vettel off a potential disqualification after Baku it appears all the heavens are lining up for Ferrari this year and beyond.

    Mercedes need to take the gloves off if they are serious about winning. They are up against a ruthless driver in Vettel as seen in Baku and the famous ‘multi 21’ incident. Mercedes need to fight fire with fire and give us a great championship to remember not one handed over in an attempt to look fair to both drivers.

  16. The Hamilton praising is cynical and hilarious. He was allowed past Bottas under the condition to give the place back if he was unable to get past Kimi. So no honorable act or whatever, he simply did the only thing he could’ve done. We live in weird times, when one gets praised for doing the bare minimum.

    I also don’t buy the Kimi moaning thing. Vettrl’s car wasn’t THAT slower to allow an overtaking to take place without consent from Vettel at that track. This is all an utter nonsense.

    It seems like the British Press is getting more desperate by the day. The anti-Vettel propaganda is quite obvious by now. Guess what, it won’t make a difference in the final outcome. Hamilton will either win or lose regardless of conspiracies… My 2p.

    1. @lancesuk I praise Hamilton, because you never see a driver abide to that bargain, and the decision to give back came from Hamilton and Hamilton alone. I totally agree with your second and third statements. SKY team is shameless. Pinkham implied team orders when she interview Sebastian who graciously avoided her trap, Lazenby and Hill did their bit on the after race show. Honestly we can’t deny this result doesn’t suit Vettel, it does, as it did back in Monaco, but when you have Symonds and Horner failing to see team orders, you really have to question SKY’s journalism, and then there’s Andrew Benson’s article on bbc
      Foreign press is not like this. What do they want? They have the audacity to question why Ferrari doesn’t want to speak to the press more often. Nothing that Ferrari says can leave them out of the firing range. They don’t speak more because they can only dig themselves further. The press will transcribe whatever they want. I guess Sky f1 it’s an actual f1 team, they seem to want to make an actual impact in the championship.

  17. So, we have a guy who lost quali to his teammate, made a terrible start where he was passed by both Red Bulls (and was very lucky they collided otherwise might have ended up 6th), couldn’t pass his teammate, received favorable team order that allowed him to overtake his teammate (causing Bottas to lose a lot of time), couldn’t pass Raikkonen (whom he was so sure he would) and he is the hero?? All this while the guy who won pole position, led the race from the beginning and ended up winning it driving with a crooked steering wheel is somehow the problem? Wow!!

    1. Agreed.

      I think it was a stellar drive by Seb in a car not 100%. He compensated for his problem and drove around it. NObody, especially the media gave him any praise whatsoever for this. Everybody screaming he should immediately pull over because he does not deserve to win. His car is not 100% correct and therefore he does not deserve to win! Really are you fans of racing? SKY sickens me with their ridiculous commentary and even more ridiculous is how the fanboys and typical media correspondence stick to this.

      Imagine SKY, internet and social media during the 1994 Barcelona GP. All the praise to Hill for being gifted a race and vilifying Schumacher for fighting in a car sucked in 5th gear and fighting to the end.

      Acknowledge a great drive people, even if it is not you driver!

      1. Perfect.

  18. Possible of course, but that would have been the last time Bottas would move aside for Hamilton.
    Hamilton had to give the place back, if he had not done so the relationship with Bottas would have suffered.
    I think Hamilton understood that he will need cooperation from Bottas in the future. And in that light 3 points was a small price to pay!

    1. I think LH also wants VB and not FA as a teammate for next year, so he is eager to keep the relationship peaceful, and will no doubt mention again at some point, as he has done already, how FA would be disruptive to the team. Of course he is going to say that and want a VB who will move over for him.

  19. Headline pic caption should read: “Thank you God for my team mate Kimi”

  20. Good to see the media not making so many excuses for MadMax. Although watching sky, initially they were almost wishing that MadMax wasn’t in the wrong.

  21. After Bahrain i was very suprised that valteri did it to be honest and even more suprised that hamilton did give back the podium. Had he not done so something similar whould have been off the table the next time so i really don´t understand why some people are in awe as the “sacrifices” was never his to begin with.
    Bad day for max and even worse for daniel but they seem to be grown up enough to get past that.
    Alonso had the only real overtake if i remember right so best driver in my book for raceday.

  22. While Ferrari demonstrated a clear preference for the contest between their drivers

    Clearly not the case. It’s obvious, like in Monaco that it’s better for Ferrari to have Vet 1st and Kimi 2nd, but like in Monaco there was no instance where you can say that Ferrari actively preferred one driver to the other, which is why Kimi never questioned Ferrari’s call after the race. Kimi inside the car felt he could have stayed longer but the data shows Kimi would’ve gotten overtaken by Bottas Mercs had he stayed an extra lap and overtaken by both Mercs had he stayed a couple more.

    *Correction Vettel said his car was bad on left handers but good on right handers, he also said there weren’t that many rights anyway.

  23. I don’t see what the big deal is with Bottas swapping with Lewis and Vice-versa and the Bottas should get more credit for doing it while Lewis shouldn’t get any credit because he had to give back the place. Give me a break, Bottas was super slow so the team allowed lewis to have a go at the Ferrari’s, then he gave the place back. Meanwhile everyone forgets Bottas was 7 sec behind at this stage. Was a great team effort from BOTH drivers to try and take the Ferraris down. End of story

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      1st August 2017, 13:41

      Lewis was faster. But couldn’t manage to get past the Ferrari’s. Bottas was faster in qualifying. Bottas had a better start. Bottas kept what will have been 3rd until the switch. Hamilton was still behind both Bottas and Verstappen until Verstappen pitted. Then it was clear he had much more pace. But qualifying is often more impotent than the race here. This is where Bottas did better. Hamilton will have likely pulled ahead of Bottas earlier if he did better in qualifying. Hamilton couldn’t get past without team orders. So lots of peoples points are that Hamilton wouldn’t have been 7 seconds ahead of Bottas if it wasn’t for Bottas letting him by. (that is almost certainly true) So that is why many praise Bottas. As Hamilton couldn’t do what he wanted to to (which was well worth trying since he had more pace), he let Bottas back through which is what he said he would do. We have to respect both drivers but I can understand why some praise Bottas more as he was the one who allowed Hamilton through in the first place and Hamilton was the one who failed to qualify ahead.

  24. This utter nonsense about ‘giving up’ third. Like he earned it. He was gifted that position and he relinquished it as per the deal. He wasn’t able to overtake anyone in that race.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      1st August 2017, 13:52

      Yeah but had Lewis been able to overtake Kimi who was in DRS range and could use Vettel as protection by Kimi pushing into Vettel and creating a double car, Lewis deserved the championship right there.

      What’s the point of duking out the championship when a slower car has passed an unpassable car?

      1. Do you even know what you’re saying? Just gibberish mate.

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