Lewis Hamilton beats Max Verstappen in Hungary with late overtake
Lewis Hamilton made a clever strategic call work for him on Sunday at the Hungaroring to claim a seventh win at the circuit and extend his championship lead.
The Mercedes driver started from third but was able to pass team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap to slot in behind polesitter Max Verstappen, where he would remain for the opening half of the race, managing a never more than two second gap to the Red Bull.
Hamilton would stay out longer than Verstappen after the first stops, a decision which looked to have handed the win to the Dutchman who was able to open a seven second lead, but Hamilton's pace was blistering with his new hard tyres and within just a handful of laps the gap went from seven second to one and the battle for the lead heated up.
The pair went wheel-to-wheel through Turns 1, 2 and then 3 before Hamilton go ahead into 4 before running wide and allowing Verstappen back through. Mercedes then made an inspired strategy call to pit Hamilton for a second time, which the five-time champion initially hit out at.
But with 20 laps of the race remaining and a 20-second gap to close, Hamilton put in fastest lap after fastest lap to close to within DRS range on Lap 66 of 70. He then pounced into Turn 1 to claim the lead again as Verstappen old tyres faded quickly.
The win was then certain from there as the Red Bull driver pitted for fresh tyres to set the fastest lap of the race and claim the additional point on offer.
The final podium spot went to Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel who passed team-mate Charles Leclerc in the final minutes, relegating the Monegasque driver to fourth.
McLaren's Carlos Sainz was a distant fifth, more than 40 seconds adrift of Leclerc. The second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly was sixth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Bottas.
Bottas endured a difficult race which fell apart at the first corner as he locked up, allowing Hamilton to get alongside into Turn 2 where he fell to third and then fourth as Leclerc moved around the outside, making brief contact and damaging the Finn's front-wing. That forced an early stop for Bottas who fell to last place.
Lando Norris and Alexander Albon completed the top ten and final points paying positions.
Hungary - Race Result
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||17.796|
|5||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||1 Lap|
|6||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1 Lap|
|7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1 Lap|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1 Lap|
|9||Lando Norris||McLaren||1 Lap|
|10||Alexander Albon||Red Bull||1 Lap|
|11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1 Lap|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||1 Lap|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||1 Lap|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||1 Lap|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||2 Laps|
|16||George Russell||Williams||2 Laps|
|17||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||2 Laps|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||2 Laps|
|19||Robert Kubica||Williams||3 Laps|