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Lewis Hamilton wins record fourth Hungarian Grand Prix from pole after managing tyres well in dramatic race

Ref:A0538
Published: 28 July 2013


lewis hamilton hungarian grand prix


Lewis Hamilton stormed off the front of the grid with the perfect start this afternoon, after Mercedes dominated qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix yesterday. 


A dramatic race saw a u-turn for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, seeing the 2008 Formula One World Champion managing his tyres impressively well to drive to his fourth win at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Having already matched Ayrton Senna's three wins at the track, Lewis has now equalled Michael Schumacher's four wins at the 2.7-mile Hungaroring circuit. 


It also marks his first Formula One victory for Mercedes - a truly historic day for the team. Sunday, July 28th will be a date Lewis Hamilton will never forget, having arguably driven one of his greatest races ever. Just to add to the spectacular, it was the first time in Lewis's Formula One career that he has scored three consecutive pole positions - having driven to pole in Britain and Germany.


The 28-year-old Brit now stands joint third in the Formula One World Championship, with 124 points. 


Paul di Resta also had a brilliant start, shooting from 18th to an impressive 13th on the first lap. 


By lap four Lewis Hamilton was ahead of Sebastian Vettel by just seven tenths of a second. “Hamilton will be relatively pleased with his opening few laps,” commented BBC Radio 5 Live’s James Allen. 


By lap six, Lewis Hamilton had extended his lead to 1.8 seconds over Sebastian Vettel. But Webber looked the threat on prime tyres in seventh place, having started tenth. 


Lewis’s first pit stop took the Mercedes crew just three seconds to change all four tyres, emerging side by side with Jenson Button and then falling behind him. Lewis fell back to eighth behind the 2009 Formula One World Champion. 


lewis hamilton hungarian grand prix


But what James Allen described as a ‘decisive moment in the grand prix’, Vettel came into the pit stop several laps later, emerging behind Jenson Button – playing nicely into Hamilton’s hands. Button showed off his supreme defensive driving skills against championship leader Sebastian Vettel with his slower car. 


Vettel was then told to hold back and protect the engine from overheating. 


“All the time, Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes is pulling away from this bunch and is building a potential winning margin here,” Allen added.


lewis hamilton hungarian grand prix


Side by side, Romain Grosjean attempted to then go around the outside of Sebastian Vettel but it was not to be. It was confirmed that Red Bull’s Vettel had front wing damage after a minor incident with Button. 


Meanwhile, the Ferrari of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso joined the party in attempting to win the race. The gap now was 9.2 seconds between the reigning champion and Lewis Hamilton. 


After Webber came into the pits on lap 24, Lewis Hamilton retook the lead. But Vettel posed a significant threat after Vettel overtook Button and continued to hunt down the 2008 Formula One World Champion. 


lewis hamilton hungarian grand prix


It was now lap 26 of 70. The battle for the win now was between Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. It was Hamilton’s to lose. 


By lap 40 of 70, Lewis Hamilton had extended his lead over Sebastian Vettel to 12 seconds. It was described as a ‘very healthy 12 seconds’ by commentator James Allen and BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson. 


Hamilton made his stop but it looked glum after he came out behind Mark Webber and was in fourth. With Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in front of him on prime tyres, he made Hamilton had to overtake them to win the race. 


lewis hamilton hungarian grand prix


Hamilton then overtook Mark Webber. He sensed an opportunity to win the grand prix but to do so he had to manage his tyres well. Red Bull expected Webber to put up a big fight. 


Vettel came in for his second pit stop, emerging once again behind a slower Jenson Button, once again playing into Hamilton’s hands nicely. But Jenson Button’s tyres were ‘falling off the cliff’ according to BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson so Vettel was expected to overtake anytime soon.


Hamilton set fastest lap after fastest lap. So while Mercedes have failed to show true race pace so far this year, Lewis has proved his fortunes have changed and he's out to win this year's Formula One World Drivers'' Championship. 


lewis hamilton hungarian grand prix


It was tense times. The Mercedes pit wall was nervous as Mark Webber overtook Hamilton as the Brit locked up. Hamilton, currently Formula One's fastest driver, retook the position. Lewis was behind Sebastian Vettel but had already made his pit stop. Vettel was still to pit. 


Andy Murray, who won Wimbledon several weeks ago, was watching and was so excited he posted his support of Hamilton on Twitter: "Watching Formula 1 from Hungary. Does Hamilton get his first win for Mercedes?"


Although Mercedes warned Lewis not to be so aggressive on the pedal, the experienced driver felt his car was fine just the way it was. 


Nico Rosberg retired several laps from the end after his engine overheated in the sweltering heat. And despite Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel chasing him down, Hamilton drove comfortably to his 22nd career win and his first for Mercedes.


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