Hamilton takes championship lead with Hungarian GP win

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Lewis Hamilton made the best getaway as the lights went out, and led the Hungarian Grand Prix from there on. Team mate Nico Rosberg was close at times, but never really managed to set up a passing move. Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Red Bull Racing.

As the starting lights went out, Lewis Hamilton made a better start than pole sitter Rosberg and was rapidly aside his teammate to emerge from the first corner in first position. Daniel Ricciardo was challenging as well, and briefly was second until Rosberg fought back into turns 3 and 4 to get past the Red Bull driver. Verstappen made a similarly good start, but as Hamilton defended the inside of turn 1, Verstappen had no choice but to stay behind.

Vettel kept 5th, ahead of Alonso who gained a position on Sainz. Jenson Button maintained 8th, but suffered a braking issue on lap 5, with the team soon responding "We lost hydraulic pressure". Button slowly completed his lap and just before entering the pits, he was asked to "Stay out, stay out". The Briton replied "Oh fantastic" as obviously by that time he had dropped down to the back. 3 laps later, he eventually pitted, but only for a normal stop, changing his super softs to a brand new set of soft tyres. Button was later handed a drive-through penalty for "unauthorised radio communications", resulting from a new post-Silverstone rule that requires teams to either retire the car or make them pit in case of an issue.

At lap 14, just before a raft of pitstops, positions at the front were unchanged, with the four fastest drivers not far from each other, but comfortably ahead of any other competition. Alonso by that time was 10 seconds down on Vettel.

The stops didn't change all that much either, except for Verstappen who dropped back behind Raikkonen. The Finn had started on softs, so was having a longer first stint. At the very front, Hamilton struggled on the soft tyres and saw Rosberg get within DRS range while Ricciardo also eaked out a bit of his disadvantage. 10 laps later however, it appeared to have been backing down on purpose, with Hamilton pulling away again after repeated calls for him to go faster, even threatening to give Rosberg the undercut on the next round of stops.

By that time, Red Bull had decided to pit Ricciardo for another set of softs, with 34 laps remaining in the race. Verstappen on the other hand waited a bit longer and got new softs on lap 39 of 70. Vettel and Hamilton pitted another 3 laps later, and Rosberg yet another lap further in the race.

10 laps from the end, Button eventually retired from the race after blue smoke emerged from the back of his McLaren Honda.

Meanwhile, Raikkonen was putting the pressure on Verstappen, benefiting from super soft tyres much newer than Verstappen's softs. A brief encounter before turn 3 also cost him a piece of front wing, but that didn't seem to affect the Finn all that much. Their relative positions remained intact until the end, ensuring their respective finish positions of 5th and 6th.

Ahead of them, Vettel was similarly chasing a Red Bull. It was less of a battle though as Vettel didn't get close enough to really construct a passing attempt.

At the very front, Rosberg was menacing Hamilton for the win for numerous laps, after Hamilton was held up a long time by Esteban Gutierrez. The latter would later receive a 5s time penalty for ignoring blue flags. The tension was further compounded by Hamilton's lockups on lap 64, following which he only just managed to maintain the lead. The World Champion however extended his lead again in the final few laps and secured the win and takes the lead in the Drivers' Championship.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarLapsTimePts
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG701:40:30.11525
26Nico RosbergMercedes AMG70+1.977s18
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer70+27.539s15
45Sebastian VettelFerrari70+28.213s12
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer70+48.659s10
67Kimi RäikkönenFerrari70+49.044s8
714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda69+1 lap6
855Carlos SainzToro Rosso Ferrari69+1 lap4
977Valtteri BottasWilliams Mercedes69+1 lap2
1027Nico HulkenbergForce India Mercedes69+1 lap1
1111Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes69+1 lap0
1230Jolyon PalmerRenault69+1 lap0
1321Esteban GutierrezHaas Ferrari69+1 lap0
148Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari69+1 lap0
1520Kevin MagnussenRenault69+1 lap0
1626Daniil KvyatToro Rosso Ferrari69+1 lap0
1712Felipe NasrSauber Ferrari69+1 lap0
1819Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes68+2 laps0
1994Pascal WehrleinMRT Mercedes68+2 laps0
209Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari68+2 laps0
2188Rio HaryantoMRT Mercedes68+2 laps0
NC22Jenson ButtonMcLaren Honda60DNF0