The rest of the field had no answer to Ferrari once the Hungarian Grand Prix got under way and, perhaps as expected after he took pole position, Rubens Barrichello was able to lead home a Scuderia 1-2 for his second win of the year.
The Brazilian made the most of his top spot from qualifying, utilising the cleaner side of the track to power into an immediate lead while team-mate Michael Schumacher was left to fend off a determined challenge from brother Ralf in the first of the two Williams. As usual at the Hungaroring, the run to turn one decided many drivers' fortunes, with winners and losers the full length of the truncated 20-car grid.
Apart from Barrichello, the biggest gainers included Giancarlo Fisichella, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button, who all cemented top six places at the expense of Juan Montoya who lost ground from fourth on the grid, and Kimi Raikkonen, who vaulted past team-mate David Coulthard and Jarno Trulli to take an early eighth. Trulli had found himself sandwiched between Button and Montoya rounding turn one, and had no option to back off. Behind him, Coulthard forced his way past Nick Heidfeld to claim tenth.
Further back, the biggest loser of all proved to be Olivier Panis, who converted twelfth into 19th, sandwiched between the two Minardis and, on the one-line layout, unable to make up ground before the opening round of pit-stops - some 25 laps away.
By the end of the lap, a two-second gap had opened out between the Ferraris and Ralf Schumacher - after Michael had managed to hold off his younger sibling through turn one - and this continued to grow as the Scuderia resumed the sort of superiority it had enjoyed throughout free practice. The two frontrunners continued to bang in fastest laps and, by the end of ten tours, enjoyed a lead edging into double figures.
With little in the way of overtaking possible on a circuit bordered by dust and debris, the order remained pretty static until Jacques Villeneuve became the first retirement of the day, pulling off at the end of the main straight, engine dead.
Remarkably, the Canadian's demise coincided with the first real overtaking move of the race, as Raikkonen took full advantage of an error by the under-pressure Montoya. The Colombian had not been happy with the handling of his car right from Friday morning, and ran wide towards the end of lap 21, breaking off part of the air deflector behind his left front wheel. Further unbalanced, Williams allowed McLaren alongside entering turn two next time around, with Raikkonen running around the outside of JPM in order to claim the inside of three.
Montoya made it difficult for his young rival, mindful of his own move past the Finn at Hockenheim, but, despite the Williams' extra grunt between corners, Raikkonen stuck his nose down the inside, forcing Montoya to take to the grass on the exit. The Colombian's day then got worse as he dropped to tenth while recovering the road, all the time shedding enough carbonfibre to require an early pit-stop and a drop to the tail of the field.
Raikkonen, meanwhile, pressed on, and was quickly on the tail of the sixth-placed Button, harrying the Briton as he attempted to keep the clearly faster McLaren behind. Eight laps after Montoya succumbed to the pressure, his Williams predecessor did the same, hooking a wheel over the outside kerb approaching turn 13 and spinning into the gravel. The Renault man was deep enough in to become the third retirement of the afternoon, joining potential 2003 team-mate Villeneuve and Eddie Irvine, who coasted to a halt with no electrics three laps after the Canadian dropped out.