Lewis Hamilton received most of the plaudits from the rest of the grid on Sunday (30 July) when he stuck to his word and allowed Valtteri Bottas to retake third place after the Finn had allowed him to pass him for third place with the hope challenging the Ferrari's ahead.
Hamilton is hoping that his act of sportsmanship will not cost him the Drivers' Championship title in which he is now 14-points behind Hungarian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel. Had he stayed in third place he would have been three points fewer in deficit of the German.
The Mercedes pair in third and fourth had closed in on the two Ferrari's of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen after the first round of pit stops and being the quicker car Hamilton requested the team to instruct Bottas to let him pass to catch the race leaders.
The three-time world champion promised to give the place back to his teammate if he failed to overtake Raikkonen, who was in second and stuck behind a struggling Vettel. Hamilton was allowed to pass and the Briton achieved part of his objective by catching the Ferrari but was unable to pass until the penultimate lap.
The 32-year-old however had surged ahead of his teammate and built a lead of around seven seconds and no one expected him to slow down to allow Bottas, who was under pressure from the charging Max Verstappen to pass. Hamilton however surprised everyone by allowing his teammate to pass on the final corner and settle for fourth place.
The former McLaren driver admitted that his generous act was more from his heart than his mind as the latter is more 'cut throat'. Hamilton is hoping that the three points he gave up does not affect him when the final points tally is done at the end of the season, but admits that he stuck to his goal of winning the championship the right way and also showing that he was a team player.
"I think more from the heart probably. I think the mind is more cut throat and every point counts, it's do or die. Heart tells me the right thing to do is to let Valtteri past," Hamilton said after the race, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"In my mind I want to win the championship the right way and I don't know whether that will come back to bite me on the backside or not but I said at the beginning of the year I want to win it the right way. I do think today was the right way to do things."
"For whatever reason I was the quicker car today and as I said, it's kind of a grey area. If he'd let me by and I pulled him along and we were two seconds apart it's a much easier thing to let him back. But obviously seven seconds and just with the Ferraris, the team were in a difficult position but I think today really shows, hopefully, that I am a man of my word, and also that I am a team player," the Briton explained.
"It's tough in the championship but I'm a man of my word. I hope we don't lose the world championship by anything more than three points."