Lewis Hamilton sealed a comprehensive victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix to claim the lead of the Formula 1 world championship for the first time this year.

The six-times world champion led from start-to-finish during a wet-dry encounter to claim his eighth win at the Hungaroring, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record for eight victories at the same circuit.

Hamilton had surged into a three-second lead by the end of the opening lap thanks to a perfect start, and controlled the race from there on in with a masterclass drive to land a dominant 86th career grand prix win.

Such was the authority of Hamilton’s performance, Mercedes took the opportunity to utilise a free pit stop and switch the Briton onto Soft tyres for a late charge to claim the fastest lap bonus point.

As a result, Hamilton now leads the championship by five points from teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was forced into a recovery drive after botching his start. 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen recovered from a crash on his way to the grid to claim a brilliant second place.

The Dutchman sustained damage to his front wing and suspension when he slid off the damp track at Turn 12, but his Red Bull mechanics miraculously fixed the problem in less than 20 minutes to ensure he could take the start.

Verstappen made a lighting quick start to move up the order from seventh on the grid in the opening lap, and fended off the late-charging Bottas to take second.

Bottas was in question of jumping the start, but crucially avoided triggering the sensors in his grid drop and subsequently avoided any penalty.

The Finn dropped as low as seventh but recovered through the order on a three-stop strategy to take the final spot on the podium, just 0.750s behind Verstappen.

Lance Stroll converted a second-row start into a brilliant fourth place for Racing Point in what turned out to be a rather lonely race for the Canadian.

Alex Albon passed Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari late on to claim fifth as the last driver to finish on the lead lap, though he could face a penalty with his Red Bull crew under investigation for allegedly artificially drying his grid box using leaf blowers.

Behind Vettel’s Ferrari, Sergio Perez finished seventh after losing ground at the start, while Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo claimed eighth.

Kevin Magnussen recorded Haas’ first points of the season with a brilliant drive to ninth, holding off Carlos Sainz, who scored the final point on offer for McLaren in P10.

Ferrari only got one of its cars inside the top-10 as Charles Leclerc finished 11th, ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Lando Norris, who continued his last-lap heroics to pass Renault’s Esteban Ocon on the final tour for P13.

Romain Grosjean had run within the top five early on after Haas gambled to switch onto slicks as the race got underway, but he ultimately fell away to 15th at the chequered flag.

It was another difficult race for Alfa Romeo as Kimi Raikkonen headed teammate Antonio Giovinazzi in 16th, with only the Williams pair behind.

Williams’ race-pace struggles continued despite another impressive qualifying display from George Russell, who faded from his 12th-place starting position to 18th at the flag.

Teammate Nicholas Latifi endured a tough race as he fell to the back after picking up an early puncture, before later suffering a high-speed spin at Turn 6, on his way to 19th and last.

Pierre Gasly’s nightmare weekend of reliability ended in plumes of smoke as he retired just 16 laps into the race with what looked to be another Honda engine failure.

After a week break, F1 returns to action with the British Grand Prix on August 2, the first of two races at Silverstone to kick-start the next triple-header of events. 

FULL HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX RACE RESULTS.

 

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