Three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton on Sunday won the Hungarian Grand Prix to seize the championship lead from teammate Nico Rosberg for the first time this season.
The Briton took the checkered flag less than two seconds ahead of the German, who had lined up on pole position at the Hungaroring, but lost out to Hamilton at the start in the key moment of the race.
Hamilton, who has now won in Hungary a record five times, leads Rosberg by six points after 11 of the season’s 21 races. The Briton has won five of the past six races, including the past three.
“The start was everything,” Hamilton said. “This is a great result for the team. What a day.”
Sunday’s win was the 48th of his career and fifth of the season.
Until Sunday, Hamilton had shared the record for Hungary GP wins with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
“I grew up watching Michael, so to have a similar number, and now one more than he had here, is incredible,” Hamilton said.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Red Bull after pushing the Mercedes pair hard enough at one point for the champions to tell Hamilton to pick up the pace.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, also a previous winner in Hungary, finished fourth after sounding off over the Ferrari team radio about slower cars holding him up as he lapped them.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen held off Ferrari’s feisty Kimi Raikkonen for fifth. The Finn had started 14th, but a long first stint saw him challenging the Dutchman.
The battle between the pair provided a moment of excitement in an otherwise uneventful race, with Raikkonen clipping the back of Verstappen’s car and damaging his front wing in an attempt to pass the 18-year-old.
Fernando Alonso was the sole surviving McLaren in seventh.
McLaren’s hopes of a strong result on the back of their best qualifying performance since renewing their engine partnership with Honda were dashed early on, with Jenson Button falling down the order with hydraulics problems.
The 2009 world champion also collected a drive-through penalty for a breach of radio rules before finally retiring late in the race.
Rosberg, who has also won five races this year, is to have the chance to seize back the lead in his home German Grand Prix. The race at Hockenheim, absent from the calendar last year, takes place in just a week’s time.
“It was all down to the start in the end,” Rosberg said of Sunday’s race. “From then on I was trying to put all the pressure on Lewis, but it’s not possible to pass at this track.”
“To have the next race coming up very quickly sounds good, at my home race ... it’s going to be awesome,” he added.
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