World Cup 2018

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Promises over positions for Wolff, who knows Hamilton-Bottas swap may prove costly

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff admits people may look back at the Hungarian Grand Prix as the race that lost them the title after Lewis Hamilton gave a position back to Valtteri Bottas.

Drivers' championship leader Sebastian Vettel was out front at the Hungaroring but started to struggle with a steering issue and lost time to the Mercedes duo, though Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was immediately behind him.

Bottas was unable to sufficiently close the gap to Raikkonen and was told to let Hamilton past for a run, but the Brit failed to make any moves stick as Ferrari saw out a one-two.

But rather than hang on to third, Hamilton slowed down on the final lap to let his team-mate past for a spot on the podium - a move that saw him fall 14 points behind Vettel rather than 11.

While Wolff admitted it could prove a costly decision in the long-rung, he believes maintaining their team values is too important.

"We took the risk. It is important to stick by your word. Maybe someone will one day say, Budapest is when we lost the championship. Who knows," he said in quotes reported by the BBC.

"At the moment, this is the way we want to continue. Valtteri moved over because we asked him to move over and then Lewis moved over at the end. Fair play to both of them."

Bottas expressed his gratitude to Hamilton for allowing him to pass on the final lap during his podium interview.

"In the end I was getting a little bit worried but thanks to Lewis to keep the promise to let me by in the end. It's a shame because we had the pace," he said.

For Hamilton, he was concerned about losing another place to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who was close behind Bottas in fifth.

"It's tough in the championship but I'm a man of my word. I did say that if I can't overtake them I would let him back through," he told Sky Sports.

"Slowing down seven seconds was tough and I was nervous of losing a place to Verstappen but fortunately I didn't."

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