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

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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.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.