Hamilton stands by Hungary decision
11:54pm Monday 28th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Lewis Hamilton has vowed to continue racing his heart out no matter the circumstances to avoid a scenario where he looks back at the end of the season and thinks "if only".
Following the team orders furore during the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton remained defiant he had done nothing wrong.
In ignoring instructions to let by Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg on lap 51 - given the two drivers were running different strategies - Hamilton put his own interests first ahead of the team.
On the other hand, Hamilton is not there to hand Rosberg a free pass to this year's championship as he has no doubt he would have finished behind the German in Hungary if he had let him through.
Instead, Hamilton grabbed a stunning third having started in the pit lane after a fire during qualifying wrecked his car, with Rosberg a place further back in fourth, to cut the gap between the two to 11 points.
It was the second astonishing drive from Hamilton in a week, bearing in mind he started 20th in the German Grand Prix and again went on to finish third after a brake-disc failure in qualifying.
Reflecting on his decision in Hungary once the adrenaline had abated, the 29-year-old said: "It was not about questioning authority, and I don't think I was being ruthless.
"I was not even being bloody minded. 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."
Whilst Formula One is a team sport, it is at odds with itself given the primary goal for any driver is to become world champion.
Whilst Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff claimed on Sunday Rosberg could have won if Hamilton had obeyed orders, the Briton is adamant a victory was not on the cards given the circumstances.
"I did not cost Nico a win. I was racing against him. Why would I be concerned for him?" said a defiant Hamilton.
"I was racing against Fernando (Alonso) and if I dropped any ground then it would stop me overtaking later on, so it was a case of not losing any time."
Clear-the-air talks are to be held with Rosberg, Wolff and executive technical director Paddy Lowe, whose suggestion it was for Hamilton to yield.
Whatever the outcome it is certain the divide in their relationship will widen, although Hamilton feels they will be "fine".
"At the moment I don't see any problems," said Hamilton.
"I've not spoken to anyone, and I may have not made the right choice, but I will find out.
"At the end of the day we still got the points for the team, so I don't think I've done anything wrong."
That is not Rosberg's view, though, as he has made it clear he feels Hamilton should have given ground.
"Lewis didn't let me by, although he was ordered to do so, so that's obviously not good, and we need to discuss that internally," said Rosberg.
"That's the best way forward for us as a team. It's pretty obvious what happened, it was all on the radio.
"So we need to discuss it, we will discuss it, and we will see how we move forward."
Asked as to whether he felt he would have won the race, Rosberg said: "That's so theoretical. I don't know....ah, no, no, no, let's go by what Toto said (that Rosberg could have).
"He's looked at all the data and things like that, so let's go by his opinion. He's the best person to know that."
Rosberg, however, bristled when he was questioned on whether if roles had been reversed he would have done the same for Hamilton.
"I'm sorry that's not something that's relevant now to discuss," said Rosberg.
"It's hypothetical, theoretical, it's not relevant."