Hamilton gets monkey off his back with Hungarian GP victory

Lewis Hamilton took his first victory of his Mercedes AMG F1 career at the Hungaroring after a good start and some fortuitous luck ahead of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag at the Hungarian GP

Hamilton made an excellent start to lead into turn one and never really looked back. The Briton earned victory rather than having it handed to him, quickly dealing with Jenson Button within one lap and Mark Webber in just three corners after exiting the pits behind his former team mate and the Australian after his first and third stops. While Vettel was stuck behind Button’s McLaren for a total of 14 laps during the race allowing Hamilton to carve out a comfortable 10 second lead.

Vettel’s misery was compounded by damage to his front wing after a coming together with Button which contributed to him falling behind Raikkonen who had another characteristic drive from mid top 10 to the podium, cutting into Vettel’s world championship lead by three points. The German eventually finishing third in the race just 1.5 seconds behind the Finn after a late charge, accusing Raikkonen of chopping across the front of him, to which Kimi nonchalantly waved off the accusation.

Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber didn’t have the pace or tyres to challenge Vettel’s position having to settle for fourth place after starting from 10th on the grid. Ferarri’s Fernando Alonso could only manage fifth place after starting the weekend in confident mood, the Spaniard finishing the race a distant 31 seconds off race winner Hamilton, you have to believe that Alonso’s title chances are slowly evaporating as Ferrari fail to improve the car and close the gap to Lotus and Red Bull.

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean finished the race in sixth place despite serving a drive-through penalty for leaving the confined of the track while overtaking Felipe Massa and a post race 20 second penalty for cutting up Button. Grosjean should count himself lucky, he could have dropped out of the top 10 if the safety car was deployed when Williams’ Valteri Bottas stopped on the pit straight on lap 45!

Jenson Button drove a decent race after a poor qualifying session, starting from 13th, finishing the race in seventh place after making up five places off the start. The Briton maintained that position through the pitstops, although did run as high as third as others pitted for tyres while Button continued on the track in his first stint on the medium tyres. Team mate Sergio Perez scored two points for himself and McLaren for finishing ninth after dropping back to tenth off the line.

Felipe Massa’s Ferrari was sandwiched between the McLaren’s in eighth place, the Brazilian started seventh and finished eighth, hardly a successful day for Massa, nor for Alonso who only maintained his starting position by the time the chequered flag fell. The final points paying position was earned by Pastor Maldonado, Williams first points of the season at the tenth time of asking, which must feel like a victory for the Grove based team. Although you’d have to say that Williams had some luck in obtaining that point with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg getting a drive-through for speeding in the pitlane and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg’s spectacular engine failure in the closing stages of the race.

Top 10 finishing positions for the Hungarian Grand Prix:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:42:29.445
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) +10.900
3. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) +12.400
4. Mark Webber (Red Bull) +18.000
5. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) +31.400
6. Romain Grosjean (Lotus) +52.200
7. Jenson Button (McLaren) +53.800
8. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) +56.400
9. Sergio Perez (McLaren) +1 Lap
10. Pastor Maldonado (Williams) +1 Lap

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