Lewis Hamilton claims brilliant Hungarian Grand Prix win
Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead to 36 points
Lewis Hamilton produced a commanding performance to claim victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix today.
The Briton claimed his first win for Mercedes as Kimi Raikkonen made a two-stop strategy work to overcome a disappointed Sebastian Vettel to claim second. The German claimed third.
The start was clean as Hamilton got away well, while Vettel was quite slow off the dirty side of the grid but held off a charging Grosjean as Alonso and Rosberg also challenged.
Rosberg would drop back on the first lap after contact with Alonso forced him wide at turn four while more contact forced the German off the track again at turn six.
In the first stint Hamilton held a slight lead over Vettel with Grosjean in close pursuit, as attentions switched to how long the tyres would last in the very high temperatures in Budapest.
As most predicted Hamilton was the first to pit, though it would not be a major disadvantage as Vettel and Grosjean followed him in a few laps later. The order after the pit-stops would be a key part of how the race played out as the McLaren of Jenson Button and Mark Webber, both who started on the medium compound, were drawn into the leading battle.
Hamilton was quick to pass Button but Vettel was not so lucky as he was held up behind the McLaren which showed good pace until the end of his first stint. By this time Hamilton had pulled out a sizeable gap.
As Vettel battled with Button he made gentle contact trying to pass the '09 champion at turn three, damaging his front wing, eventually however Button buckled under Vettel's pressure and the German was through.
That started a difficult few corners for Button as Grosjean barged his way through at turn 7 and Alonso, who had also caught the battling trio, followed the Lotus through.
Grosjean would continue to battle with Vettel, the Frenchman was clearly faster than the Red Bull and pitted much earlier than Vettel for his second time in an attempt to undercu his rival.
After the stop Grosjean had to battle with Felipe Massa. The Brazilian was on a different strategy and was much slower as Grosjean went for an ambitious move around the outside at turn five.
It was successful, however a few laps later the stewards deemed Grosjean had gone off the track in the move and gained an advantage, earning him a drive-through penalty.
That would be the end of Grosjean's challenge as he would emerge behind Fernando Alonso, unable to get ahead for the rest of the race.
Having a quiet race was Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn was on the same strategy as the rest early on, but a decision to switch to a two-stop strategy and a brilliant 33-lap stint on a set of medium tyres moved him up into the battle for the podium.
Hamilton was untroubled at the front making bold moves noticeably on Button and Webber on the run through turn four after his second and third stops, ensuring his 10+ second gap was maintained.
Mark Webber had a different three-stop plan than the rest, starting on the medium tyres he stayed out longer completing 20 lap stints on the harder compound then making a final switch for soft tyres at the end with 10 laps to go, Webber would eventually finish fourth.
Away from the front battle, Nico Rosberg had dropped down to 12th after his early excursions and a miserable afternoon would have a smokey end with an engine failure in the closing laps. That boosted Pastor Maldonado into the top 10, helping him to score Williams' first points of the season.
Sergio Perez had a quiet race and was unable to capitalise on the same strategy as Button but he finished 9th. Massa had front wing damage after the first lap collision with Rosberg as a result he was 8th with Button a battling 7th in the leading McLaren.
Grosjean was 6th following his drive-through shadowing Fernando Alonso, who had a difficult afternoon, and never really matched the lead pace, winding up in 5th.
Webber finished fourth, Vettel was chasing down Raikkonen after his third stop and despite almost coming to blows at turn five had to settle for 3rd behind the Finn.
Up front though Hamilton put all of his pre-race concerns to rest as the tyres held on his Mercedes and he was able to take his first win of the year and his third at the Hungaroring.
In the championship Vettel now holds a 36 point lead over Raikkonen who jumps Alonso into 2nd, Hamilton now 50 points behind the German in fourth ahead of Webber and Rosberg.
Red Bull improved their position in the Constructors Championship now 71 points clear of Mercedes then a good battle between Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus all three teams covered by just 21 points. McLaren closed the gap to Force India to 2 points with their double points finish.
Formula 1 now heads into the second summer break with four weeks until the next race the famous Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit.