Lewis Hamilton has taken command of the Drivers’ Championship for the first time this season, fending off Nico Rosberg to take a record fifth Hungarian Grand Prix victory.
The Briton was forced to settle for second behind his teammate on the grid after being caught out by yellow flags in Q3, but pounced when Rosberg bogged off the line and stole into the lead through the inside of Turn 1.
Rosberg then looked set to lose another place as Daniel Ricciardo went around the outside of the Mercedes at Turn 1 even as Hamilton was on the inside, though a bold switchback move through Turns 2 and 3 saw Rosberg wrestle back second place.
The German then continued to keep his teammate in check, repeatedly lowering the fastest lap in the early stages and even closing into DRS range as Hamilton struggled for pace on soft tyres after his first pit stop.
But as close as Rosberg came, he simply couldn’t find a way past Hamilton, who exploited every inch of the famously tight Hungaroring to hold onto the lead and eventually take the chequered flag a comfortable two seconds ahead of his teammate.
The win was Hamilton’s fifth at the Hungaroring, now making him the most successful driver at the circuit ahead of Michael Schumacher. As his fifth win of the season as well, the Hungarian Grand Prix brings Hamilton level with Rosberg on victories and six points ahead in the standings with ten rounds remaining.
“I don’t know what the secret is here,” Hamilton insisted. “Naturally, having a great team and everything coming together is key, but it’s a track that I think works really well for an aggressive driver.
“I’ve not really thought about the standings much but it’s definitely a good feeling to get the job done here. It’s been an awesome few races and I’ve just got to keep that kind of form up for the rest of the season.”
The result was also Mercedes’ first ever 1-2 at the Hungaroring, and incredibly their first win at the venue in their dominant hybrid era.
“We’re delighted with today’s result,” said Toto Wolff. “This place has been Red Bull and Ferrari territory, so it just shows what a great place we have got to with our chassis and engine package that we were able to…control the race like we did.”