Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton roared to a convincing victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
It was his first win of 2013, his first for Mercedes and his fourth at the Hungaroring, putting him level with Michael Schumacher for most wins at the Budapest track.
Behind him, Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen made a bold two-stop strategy work to rise from sixth on the grid to finish second, holding off a strong challenge from Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel in the final laps.
At the start, Hamilton powered from pole and with Vettel making a slower getaway on the dirty side of the track, comfortably held his lead into the first corner. Vettel retained P2 despite a stern challenge from Lotus’ Romain Grosjean as the trio began to pull away from the pack.
Behind them Mark Webber made a good start to gain three places by lap two. With everyone in front of him on soft tyres and set to stop early, Webber made up ground with a long first stint on medium tyres. It paid off as the drivers ahead of him pitted, putting Webber in the lead.
Hamilton was the first to stop on lap nine and emerged behind Jenson Button, who was also on a long medium-tyre run. The Mercedes driver passed his former team-mate but Vettel had no such luck.
After his first stop on lap 11, the championship leader too rejoined behind Button but for the next 13 laps he could find no way past and lost precious time. The German eventually past on lap 24, but by then Hamilton had opened up a significant gap and the race for P1 was over.
Thereafter, the race see-sawed through multiple stops and the front runners rose and fell according to starting tyre strategy.
In the final stint, it was Raikkonen and Webber who profited most. The Finn took on a final set of mediums on lap 42 and clung on until the end, despite the close attentions of Vettel who pushed the Lotus driver hard in the final 10 laps but couldn’t find a way past.
Webber took on a mandatory set of softs on lap 60 and emerged fourth. At times running almost two seconds a lap quicker than his team-mate he closed rapidly but then the radio chatter began, his times fell away and he settled for fourth.