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Bottas thanks Hamilton for late position swap, honoring in-race deal


Valtteri Bottas thanked Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton for honoring an in-race deal and letting him pass for the final podium position in Hungary at the checkered flag.

Hamilton was waved past Bottas during Sunday’s race in order to try and attack the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at the head of the pack, believing to have better pace.

Hamilton was unable to overtake either Ferrari driver, but looked set to stay third as Bottas came under significant pressure from Max Verstappen in the closing laps.

Hamilton kept his word and backed off at the final corner to let Bottas back through, the Finn finishing four-tenths of a second clear in P3, with Verstappen just 0.3 seconds further back in fifth.

“I was trying to get close enough to Kimi at some point to attack, but there were no opportunities,” Bottas said.

“Then we swapped as a team and Lewis tried it as well, and when he was trying, at the same time, I really struggled with the backmarkers. I thought I was unlucky with a few of the guys being behind them for laps and losing time, losing the rhythm.

“The team promised me that once we did swap and I let him go and try that, we would swap again back if he couldn’t make it, and he couldn’t make it.

“The team kept the promise, which I’m really happy about and really thankful for the team that we swapped again in the end.

“A big thanks to Lewis as well. I don’t think every teammate would have done the swap back if you’re running for a podium place. I think that was nice from the team and from Lewis.”

The position change cost Hamilton three extra points in the drivers’ championship race against Vettel, though, leaving him 14 points behind heading into F1’s summer break.

Hartley’s F1 grid penalty streak continues in Abu Dhabi

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Brendon Hartley’s record of receiving a grid penalty at every Formula 1 race he has started is set to continue in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Toro Rosso was forced to change part of his Renault power unit following the last race in Brazil.

Since making his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix last month, Hartley has faced a grid drop at all three races he has started so far amid ongoing reliability difficulties for power unit supplier Renault.

After being forced to retire from the last race in Brazil two weeks ago due to an engine issue, Hartley has received a 10-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed Toro Rosso had changed the MGU-H on his power unit.

Hartley is yet to score any points in F1, having retired from two of his three races so far to make his debut run to P13 in Austin his best result to date.

The Toro Rosso driver finished 20th in FP1 and 19th in FP2 during Friday’s practice sessions in Abu Dhabi as he continued to get to grips with the Yas Marina Circuit.