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F1: No Hamilton Didn't Throw Away Three Points In Hungary


The British press are currently lauding Lewis Hamilton for his gesture in handing a podium place to team-mate Valteri Bottas at the last lap of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix. The message being pushed is that Hamilton is a team player and those three points could be the difference between winning and losing the World Championship.

Which rather misses the point. It was Bottas who made the magnanimous gesture by allowing Hamilton past him to attempt to pass the Ferraris. Let's not forget  that Bottas is very much in this World Championship battle and it was not in his interests to allow Hamilton past. It would have been no trouble for Bottas to defend his third place from his teammate, given that Hungary is the most difficult circuit in the calendar to pass on, barring Monaco.

In allowing Hamilton past Bottas demonstrated that it was he who was the team player. In asking the team to move Bottas out of the way Hamilton demonstrated two things: he's just as happy to benefit from team orders as any other driver on the grid and he's trying to manoeuvre the team into a position where Bottas is excluded from the championship battle.

In fact his manner in asking for Bottas to be moved aside suggested that he was going to comfortably blow past the Ferraris for a race win, something he felt Bottas was incapable of doing. he didn't, so in the end he gained and lost nothing from the sporting gesture of his team mate.

What would have been infinitely more interesting would have been seeing Hamilton actually try and get past Bottas without the benefit of team orders.

Either he would have made it through and got his three extra points or else the two battling Mercedes would have slowed each other up and dropped themselves into the clutches of Max Verstappen. In that case I have no doubt that Max would have had Hamilton's fourth place and probably Bottas' third too.

Anyway, let's not forget that the 2017 World Championship is still very much a three-way battle for the title. Until then let's hope we have no more team order shenanigans from Mercedes or Hamilton.

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