Hamilton wins the Hungarian Grand Prix to take championship lead

Lewis Hamilton wins his fifth Hungarian Grand Prix.

In a joust with Rosberg until the final lap, Hamilton crossed the line to win the Hungarian Grand Prix by two seconds. While Ricciardo held off Vettel for the podium, Verstappen held off Raikkonen for fifth and Alonso brought his McLaren home in seventh as Button retired late on. 

As soon as the lights went out, Hamilton was off with a better initial start than his pole-sitting team-mate. But as the second stage kicked in, the Silver Arrows sat side-by-side going down the pit straight before Hamilton took the lead into the first corner.

Rosberg, after snatching pole at the death, even found himself in third by the time he exited the first corner – with Daniel Ricciardo running around his outside before looking for the lead.

Nico, though, restored a Mercedes one-two with the outside line through T2 handing him the inside of three. Moving back ahead of the Red Bull.

As the early laps stretched on, Hamilton and Rosberg stretched their lead over the Red Bulls. But, after not being able to match the Silver Arrows for pace, Red Bull put the pressure on Mercedes by drawing Daniel into the pits with the undercut on the card.

Coming out behind Valtteri Bottas did, however, cost Ricciardo time and allowed Mercedes the breathing room needed to eke out their stint.

The second stint did not, however, work for Hamilton at first. With Lewis losing time to Rosberg and the charging Ricciardo.

So much so, the Mercedes team warned Lewis that if he did not up his pace, Rosberg would be boxed first to hold off the undercut. “I’m working on it,” replied Hamilton, who began to match and then better the pace of Ricciardo – who drifted back into the pits again.

And again, Ricciardo was lapping far quicker than the Silver Arrows on the first laps with fresh tyres. But traffic and responses from Mercedes again created breathing space for the Brackley based team.

Who, once they pitted Hamilton and Rosberg for their final stops, still held onto a one-two. Although Rosberg had lost two seconds to Hamilton during his pit-lap.

While now, after being the thorn in the side of Mercedes all race, Ricciardo’s pace dried up. Leaving Daniel as the fish at the end of a Ferrari rod, with Raikkonen reeling in the Bull after starting down in 14th place.

Yet despite lapping faster than Daniel with old tyres, Kimi was boxed for his final change – putting him behind the other Red Bull of Verstappen. The new Bull in the eye line of a Prancing Horse.

Laps and laps went by with Raikkonen trying to get ahead of Verstappen like the final stages of the Spanish Grand Prix. But unlike in Barcelona, Kimi was quicker than Max and sat attached to the Red Bull’s rear end.

Kimi even sat so close to the rear of the Red Bull that contact was made at turn two.

Raikkonen had looked to go around the outside of Verstappen at the end of the second DRS zone. But it turned out to be a dupe to fool Verstappen who had been making his defensive moves once Kimi made his offensive line. And as Kimi flicked back to the left for the inside, Max tweaked his direction back towards the apex – forcing Kimi to violently flick back to the right, and catching the Red Bull’s rear.

Enough contact was made between Raikkonen and Verstappen to snap parts from Kimi’s front wing. But the downforce lost did not stop Kimi from rolling right back up behind Verstappen as he hunted fifth place.

Verstappen, though, held of the attacking Finn to finish the Hungarian Grand Prix in fifth place. Likewise, Hamilton held off the threat of Rosberg to win the race by two seconds. While Ricciardo held off Vettel for the final podium position.

The battle between the championship contenders was a muted one, with both drivers negotiating traffic throughout the final stint of the race. The traffic did, however, play to Rosberg more – with Hamilton often losing time to his team-mate. Especially when Gutierrez failed to abide by the blue flags [to which he received a five-second penalty], costing Hamilton a second to Rosberg.

Every time Nico moved to within a second of Lewis for DRS, Hamilton would respond with a fast enough lap to break free of the DRS time. Meaning Hamilton ended the race ahead of Rosberg to overturn the German’s championship lead going into Rosberg’s home Grand Prix.

Further back from the lead battle, the battle between the ex-Red Bull pairing for the podium position saw Vettel catch Ricciardo in the final stages. But Sebastian was forced to finish the race just six-tenths of a second behind the Australian.

Jenson Button, on the other hand, was forced to watch the final laps of the race from the McLaren garage after the team retired him on lap 63 of the 70. The only driver to retire from the race.

Jenson’s Hungarian Grand Prix had got off to a poor start when a sensor failed in his hydraulics system causing him to limp around the track. The team, though, told Jenson to stay out and not come into the pits as JB worked to fail-safe the sensor. Although the issue did cause him braking problems, with the pedal going to the floor.

When Jenson was told to stay out, he was also told not to shift through the gears. This call, rather than the irreversible instruction to come into the pits where they could have discussed the issue, resulted in Button receiving a drive-through penalty, while already in last place, for breaching the radio restrictions.

Following his drive-through, Jenson continued to plug away and recover some positions in the Hungarian Grand Prix – 10 years on from his debut Formula One victory. But as the final laps began, an oil leak caused a puff of smoke from the engine and end his race.

“Race from hell” was Jenson’s words over the radio when he had his brake issue, and that certainly captions his race.

Fellow Briton, Jolyon Palmer, had a highlight moment of his own during the Hungarian Grand Prix. As the Renault driver found himself in the points once Kvyat pitted.

But a spin at turn four sent Palmer down from 10th to 13th.

To get into the point scoring position, great work by Renault allowed Palmer to leapfrog Hulkenberg in the pits when the pair came in together. With Force India making a slight mistake on Hulkenberg’s rear tyre, before not setting themselves up in time for Perez on the next lap.

Pos Driver Time Gap Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 25
2 Nico Rosberg 1.977 1.977 18
3 Daniel Ricciardo 27.539 27.539 15
4 Sebastian Vettel 28.213 28.213 12
5 Max Verstappen 48.659 48.659 10
6 Kimi Raikkonen 49.044 49.044 8
7 Fernando Alonso 1 lap 1 Lap 6
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. 1 lap 1 Lap 4
9 Valtteri Bottas 1 lap 1 Lap 2
10 Nico Hulkenberg 1 lap 1 Lap 1
11 Sergio Perez 1 lap 1 Lap
12 Jolyon Palmer 1 lap 1 Lap
13 Esteban Gutierrez 1 lap 1 Lap
14 Romain Grosjean 1 lap 1 Lap
15 Kevin Magnussen 1 lap 1 Lap
16 Daniil Kvyat 1 lap 1 Lap
17 Felipe Nasr 1 lap 1 Lap
18 Felipe Massa 2 laps 2 Laps
19 Pascal Wehrlein 2 laps 2 Laps
20 Marcus Ericsson 2 laps 2 Laps
21 Rio Haryanto 2 laps 2 Laps
 RET Jenson Button 10 laps 10 Laps