Despite the scare, Hamilton's car lasted the distance and triumphantly claimed the chequered flag, while Kimi Raikkonen's seemingly impossible task of holding on to second place on worn tyres proved a success and saw him finished in second ahead of Sebastian Vettel, with Webber coming in behind after a series of 'fail' messages form the Red Bull pit wall had blunted his hopes of closing up on his team mate by the finish.
Fernando Alonso succeeded in narrowly holding off Romain Grosjean to the line for fifth, with Button, Massa, Perez and Maldonado rounding out the remainder of the points positions. Sauber's Nico Hülkenberg was left on the outside looking in after his peeding penalty, together with Toro Rosso's Jean Eric-Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo who had put in a rather anonymous run all afternoon. Two laps off the lead lap at the short Hungaroring were the remaining backmarkers, with Giedo van der Garde claiming the honours with 14th place ahead of Caterham team mate Charles Pic and the Marussias of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton after a late retirement sidelined Paul di Resta and meant the second race in a row that Force India have failed to score any points.
That's a gloomy way to go into the month-long August break before the next Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 25. By contrast, the celebrations for Mercedes and for Lewis Hamilton will likely last long into the night in Budapest as they celebrate would could be a pivotal breakthrough moment in the 2013 world championship if they're to bring the battle to Red Bull's door in the second half of the season.
See full race results from Hungary.