Hamilton hopes to make team orders unnecessary
Lewis Hamilton wants to take it upon himself to ensure that team orders are not necessary for him to win this year’s Formula 1 world championship.
Hamilton was allowed to pass by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas during July’s Hungarian Grand Prix in the hope that the Briton could find a way past the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
When that did not eventuate, Hamilton relinquished third position to Bottas again on the final lap.
Hamilton now leads Vettel by 28 championship points, with Bottas a further 23 adrift, and hopes such tactics are not required again.
“Hungary happened at the right time, and I think it happened the right way,” said the 32-year-old.
“Valtteri will make his own decisions at whatever point, if he ever feels that he’s out of contention for example.
“My goal is to make sure that we’re not in the position for them to have to do that (team orders).
“My goal is to make sure I do the better job each weekend, which is not always the case, and Valtteri’s getting stronger with understanding the car.”
Hamilton also downplayed the suggestion that handing the place back to Bottas in Hungary had helped to forge a bond between them.
“Valtteri afterwards actually came and said to me he didn’t expect me to let him back past. I was like, ‘s##t!’” said Hamilton.
“I felt like I’d made the right decision. I think even I’d stayed ahead, he would have understood.
“I don’t think he would have been fussed by it. I was seven seconds up the road. If he was right behind me, then perhaps.
“It could only have made things better, but if it was the other way around, it could have gone sour.
“There is a lot of talk about our relationship, and I think it’s just a good working relationship.
“Valtteri wants to beat me on the track just as much as I want to beat him.
“Don’t ever get it twisted that we don’t want to kill each other out there, but there’s a respect for one another’s ability, and where we come from, and that really works well for us at the moment.”