Wolff: We did the right thing

31/07/2017
NEWS STORY

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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Published: 31/07/2017
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