Defending world champion and five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes has recorded his eighth win of the season and extended his championship lead with his victory at the 34th Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix here on Sunday.
With a time of one hour 35 minutes and 03.796 seconds, the Briton beat Dutch Max Verstappen (+17.796) of Red Bull Racing, and German Sebastian Vettel (+61.433) of Ferrari, who came at the second and third places respectively.
Hamilton won with a great tactical pull and a tremendous effort at the end of the race in a huge battle. Another classic race has been held on the Hungarian Formula One track.
The 34-year-old driver won his eighth race this year, and his 81st victory of his carrier, whereas he won in Hungaroring for the seventh time.
After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton is leading by 250 points, followed by Valtteri Bottas (188 points) and Max Verstappen (181 points).
While in the constructor’s standings, Mercedes is at the top with 438 points, followed by Ferrari (288 points) and Red Bull-Honda (244 points).
The start was taken roughly the same way by the competitors, with Verstappen retaining the lead and Hamilton overtaking his teammate Valtteri Bottas in the second, third and fourth turn combo.
During the maneuver, the two Mercedes touched for a moment and Bottas’s first wing was damaged, leading to Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and then Vettel overtaking him. During the overtaking, Leclerc also bumped the Mercedes of Bottas, slowing him down even further.
In the fifth lap, Verstappen, Hamilton, Leclerc were in the podium order, followed by Vettel in fourth, and Bottas in the fifth, apparently holding up the rest of the drivers behind. The Finnish pilot stepped into the box in the sixth round to replace the defective part of his car and returned to the track in the last, 20th position.
At the 20th lap Verstappen was still in lead position, with an advantage of 1.2-1.3 seconds over Hamilton, but the Dutch pilot complained on team radio that his tire grip was getting worse and worse. Leclerc and Vettel were nearly twenty seconds behind Verstappen in third and fourth place, while Bottas came up to 14th position.
Verstappen started the wheel changes in lap 26, followed two laps later by Leclerc and at the end of lap 31 by Hamilton. Vettel was still waiting, and he only got the fresh tires in lap 39.
After the pit stops, Verstappen was at the forefront of the race, but Hamilton was catching up behind him, catching him finally and attempting to overtake him several times, but he remained unsuccessful. Bottas was now ninth, and Hamilton angrily told his engineer over the radio that he could no longer keep pressure on Verstappen.
Twenty-two laps before the end of the race, Mercedes called on Hamilton for another wheel change, which increased his delay by twenty seconds to Verstappen, but was able to make much faster laps than the leading Dutchman.
At the start of the 60th lap, Verstappen had a 12.5 second lead over Hamilton, and the defending champion came even closer and approached the rival at great pace, and passed him easily four laps before the end of the race.
In the endgame, Vettel reached and overtook his teammate, finishing third while Bottas finished eighth after a great battle.
At the weekend Hungaroring attracted some 230,000 viewers. After almost a month’s break, the Formula One races resume on September 1 in Belgium.