Hamilton overtakes Rosberg as overall leader for the first time this year
Triple Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton produced a trademark triumph of pace and panache to win the Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg yesterday, replacing him as leader of this year's title race for the first time.
Hamilton overtook pole-sitter Rosberg at the start and then controlled the 70 laps with a mixture of speed and flawless judgment in sweltering heat at the Hungaroring circuit.
His victory meant that he had completed a hat-trick of successes in consecutive races and was his record fifth in Hungary.
It was also his fifth of the season and the 48th of his career.
"The start was everything," said Hamilton. "I got a good start and one of the Red Bulls was inside me so I was pressurised a lot into Turn One.
"But this is a great result for the team. What a day! The traffic was difficult to navigate, but it was an amazing race. A special thank you to the fans - you make this such a great event."
The Briton took the chequered 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 now leads Rosberg by six points after 11 of the season's 21 races. The Briton has won five of the last six races, including the last three.
Until yesterday, he 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," said Hamilton.
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.
Ferrari's four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, also a previous winner in Hungary, finished fourth after sounding off over the 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, will have the chance to seize back the lead in his home German Grand Prix.
The race at Hockenheim, absent from last year's calendar, takes place this weekend.
"It was all down to the start in the end," said Rosberg, of yesterday'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." - Reuters.
HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX (Top 5)
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
DRIVERS’ STANDINGS (Top 5)
1. Lewis Hamilton 192 pts,
2. Nico Rosberg 186,
3. Daniel Ricciardo 115,
4. Kimi Raikkonen 114,
5. Sebastian Vettel 110
CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS (Top 5)
1. Mercedes 378 pts,
2. Ferrari 224,
3. Red Bull 223,
4. Williams 94,
5. Force India 74