'I was doing my job, I'm hired to race' - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has no regrets about disobeying team orders at the Hungarian Grand Prix, saying he was only doing his job and could not afford to lose any more ground after his issues in qualifying.
Hamilton was asked to let team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg past on lap 50 of the race as the two were on different strategies, but instead held position and eventually held Rosberg off for third place. After the race he said he was "shocked" by the order and he stands by his decision to fend off his team-mate.
"It was not about questioning authority, and I don't think I was being ruthless. I was not even being bloody minded," he said. "I was doing my job and got to the top. I am hired to race and bring in points for the team. I am also hired to be me and race my heart out. I did not start at the front of the pack. I started from the pit lane, so in my mind I could not afford to lose anything else. I have already given away too much.
"At the end of the year I could be looking back saying 'if only the car did not catch on fire', or 'if only the brakes didn't fail', 'if only I hadn't made a mistake in qualifying', 'if only the engine had not stopped in the race'...all these things. So it was just a case of not giving a single point away. I tried my hardest to be ahead and I don't feel as though I was being obligated to help."
Hamilton's season has been peppered by misfortune, but mistakes have also crept in during qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix and British Grand Prix. A fuel leak during qualifying in Hungary forced Hamilton to start out of position for the second race in a row, but he believes two consecutive fightbacks is proof he is capable of taking the pressure.
"I think it's been a very challenging, trying and testing last two weeks. I saw some stories saying that I would crack under pressure but hopefully this has shown that I won't. I'm still in the fight and raring to go, and I will use the break to re-energise and get fit. The car is very light so I can put some weight on a little bit, but it will be muscle not fat. I will hopefully come back stronger both mentally and physically."
He does not think the team orders incident change anything after the summer break.
"I don't think it changes the situation going forward. We will go through it, explain and discuss in order to understand it and move forwards. At the time I was trying to weigh it up because I was in third and all of a sudden I was in this race and I didn't understand why I had to let him past. If I was eighth and he was fighting for first maybe, but that wasn't the case. It's hard to understand but I'm sure the team did it for the right reasons.
"If I'd let him past when I was told to let him past, he would have caught me with a couple of laps to go for sure."
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