Hamilton 'nervous' handing back third place
30 July 2017 – Lewis Hamilton says he was "nervous" when he handed back third place to Valtteri Bottas on the final lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen threatened.
Hamilton rapidly closed in on Mercedes team-mate Bottas after the pit-stops and was given a run at Ferrari drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel.
He managed to get within DRS range of Räikkönen on several occasions, but could not get close enough to pass, and ultimately backed off to return third to Bottas, as agreed.
However, by this stage, Red Bull driver Verstappen, on much fresher tyres, had caught up with Bottas, giving Mercedes a small margin as it swapped cars once more.
Hamilton slowed by almost nine seconds on the final lap, handing Bottas the position at the final corner, and crossing the line just half a second clear of Verstappen.
"It's tough in the championship, but I'm a man of my word," said Hamilton post-race, having fallen 14 points behind Vettel, who overcame steering problems to win.
"I said let me by and if I can't overtake them [the Ferrari drivers] then...
"Slowing down seven seconds [on the last lap] was tough, and I was nervous about losing a place to Verstappen, but fortunately I didn't."
Hamilton's car-to-pit radio was not working through periods of the race and he rued not being able to inform Mercedes of the pace he had in hand after pitting.
"I was pushing, I had all this pace, but I was stuck behind Valtteri, and I couldn't tell the team that I had all this pace, you know, 'Let me go, to catch them [Ferrari] up'," he said.
"I don't know how many laps I was behind, but my tyres took a real beating behind.
"But when I did get by, I gave it everything I could, until I got stuck behind a backmarker and went on some dirt, some rubber, then the tyres started to drop after that."