Hungarian Grand Prix: Could Lewis Hamilton's gesture cost him the title?

Alain Prost

It was a very sporting gesture.

Lewis Hamilton kept his word at the Hungarian Grand Prix by handing back third place to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas – a promise made during the race as Hamilton attempted to chase down the leading Ferraris.

But could it come at a price?

Finishing fourth instead of third cost Hamilton three points, meaning Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel leads the Briton by 14 points heading into the summer break.

Since the very first Formula 1 world championship in 1950, 27% of seasons have been decided by three points or fewer, so Hamilton has definitely taken a risk.

Gallery – selected titles decided by three points or fewer

Stirling Moss

Tense title deciders

There’s been plenty of thrilling title tussles over the years but these are the 18 that were decided by three points or fewer:

YearChampionRunner upPoints difference
1950Giuseppe Farina (Alfa Romeo)Juan Manuel Fangio (Ferrari)3
1956Juan Manuel Fangio (Ferrari)Stirling Moss (Maserati)3
1958Mike Hawthorn (Vanwall)Stirling Moss (Cooper-Climax)1
1961Phil Hill (Ferrari)Wolfgang von Trips (Ferrari)1
1964John Surtees (Ferrari)Graham Hill (BRM)1
1974Emerson Fittipaldi (McLaren)Clay Regazzoni (Ferrari)3
1976James Hunt (Ferrari)Niki Lauda (Ferrari)1
1981Nelson Piquet (Brabham)Carlos Reutemann (Williams)1
1983Nelson Piquet (Brabham)Alain Prost (Renault)2
1984Niki Lauda (McLaren)Alain Prost (McLaren)0.5
1986Alain Prost (McLaren)Nigel Mansell (Williams)2
1988Ayrton Senna (McLaren)Alain Prost (McLaren)3
1994Michael Schumacher (Benetton)Damon Hill (Williams)1
1999Mika Hakkinen (McLaren)Eddie Irvine (Ferrari)2
2003Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)2
2007Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)Lewis Hamilton & Fernando Alonso (both McLaren)1
2008Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)Felipe Massa (Ferrari)1
2012Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)3

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