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Wolff: We did the right thing

NEWS STORY
31/07/2017

Toto Wolff has defended the decision that saw Lewis Hamilton hand his podium place finish to teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final corner of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

On fresher rubber, the Briton had been allowed to pass his Finnish teammate in a bid to attack Kimi Raikkonen who had been ordered to hold station behind a struggling Sebastian Vettel.

However, unable to make a move on the Ferrari due to the wake which resulted in grip and overheating issues, Hamilton was forced to abandon his endeavours.

However, while Hamilton had been shadowing Raikkonen, Bottas had come under increasing pressure from fifth placed Max Verstappen, making the likelihood of handing back the position unlikely as the Red Bull might pass the Mercedes duo in the process, a la Vettel on the Force Indias in Canada.

Nonetheless, Hamilton slowed in the final corner, allowing his teammate through and yielding three valuable championship points to both Bottas and Vettel.

Despite taking a battering from Hamilton and Mercedes fans on social media, Wolff stands by the decision.

"It cost us three points and potentially the championship, we are perfectly conscious about that," said the Austrian. "Nevertheless this is how the drivers and team operate.

"We stick to what we say," he continued, "and if the consequences are as much as losing the championship, we take it. Long term we will be winning much more races and championships with that approach than doing it the other way around."

Asked how he would feel were the championship to be decided on those three points, Wolff said: "We drive in circles because we hope that it promotes our brand and makes us sell cars, it's a very long-term project.

"We've seen the backlash of decisions that were ruthless and cold-blooded and the effect it had on the brand," he continued. Now you say 'Screw it, it still won them the championship. Who cares? They are down in the history books'. But I don't think this is the right spin. If I come back to what I think the purpose of us being here is, it is doing the right things and winning in the right way. And sometimes doing it the right way and standing by your values is tough. It was today, believe me."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Hungary, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Lapps, 01/08/2017 16:52

"The interesting possible outcome would be if BOTTAS won the Championship by less than 3 points from Hamilton🤢"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by @R1Racing71, 31/07/2017 15:46

"If Mercedes do end up loosing the championship by less than 3 points, how is this likely to sit with the hierarchy in Stuttgart?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by ryanhellyer, 31/07/2017 14:13

"It's good to see brands appreciating the benefits of doing what people feel is the best thing to do, rather than just winning at all costs."

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4. Posted by bevlad, 31/07/2017 12:59

"Hamilton went up a notch in my estimation after giving the place back.

He's now at notch one."

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 31/07/2017 11:55

"Mercedes' Championship is unaffected. It's Hamilton who has the problem...."

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6. Posted by Thomas1, 31/07/2017 11:02

"Toto's statements are correct Dharma. Any win not achieved in the right and righteous way is not worth it. This approach keeps one's consciousness clear and prepares for the next race with equal vigor."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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