Lewis Hamilton has said he is a “man of my word” after he gave the final podium spot back to Valtteri Bottas on the final lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton was allowed to pass Bottas after the pit stops to attack the two Ferrari cars, with race leader Sebastian Vettel struggling with a steering issue and holding up Kimi Raikkonen as result.
The Brit was unable to find a way through, though, and promised to give the place back to Bottas, which he did at the final corner to prevent a very quick Max Verstappen from potentially stealing a spot.
Hamilton’s fourth-place finish means he is now 14 points behind Vettel in the World Championship, but said he had to give the place back at the expense of some extra points.
“It’s tough in the championship but I’m a man of my word,” Hamilton said in the paddock. “I did say that if I can’t overtake them I would let him back through.
“Slowing down seven seconds was tough and I was nervous of losing a place to Verstappen but fortunately I didn’t.”
Hamilton was hindered by communication problems throughout the race, preventing him from passing Bottas earlier and launching a longer attack on Ferrari.
“It wasn’t perfect [losing radio] but it came back in the end. We managed it the best way we could,” he added.
“I don’t know why Ferrari were slow. I thought they were worried about the tyres not going the distance and so were slow but would speed up later but they didn’t.
“I had all this pace but I was stuck behind Valtteri and couldn’t tell the team I had all this speed to go catch them up. I don’t know how many laps I was behind but my tyres took a lot of beating.
“Once I did get by, I did everything I could until I had to step behind a back marker and went on some rubber on the outside of the track and the tyres started to drop after that.”