Lewis Hamilton delivered a flawless drive from pole position to the chequered flag to win yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix for McLaren and revive his challenge for this year’s Formula One drivers’ World Championship.
The 27-year-old Briton took control of the race from the start and stayed in front, pit stops apart, as he resisted strong late pressure to come home ahead of Finland’s Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton’s win was his second of the year and the 19th of his career.
Raikkonen pushed hard to find a way of passing Hamilton in the closing laps, but the Englishman resisted despite having to fight to preserve his worn tyres.
Raikkonen finished a strong second ahead of his Lotus teammate, Frenchman Romain Grosjean, and defending world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.
Current world championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari came in fifth. Hamilton’s McLaren teammate Jenson Button finished sixth, while Bruno Senna in a Williams, Australian Mark Webber in the second Red Bull, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and German Nico Rosberg rounded out the top ten.
Alonso stays on top of the drivers’ standings, but Hamilton closed the gap and his victory in the much-improved McLaren boosted his team’s hopes of mounting a challenge for the title in the second half of the season following the annual summer break.
Back in fourth place
After 11 of this year’s 20 races, Hamilton is back in fourth place with 117 points behind Alonso on 164, Webber on 124 and Vettel on 122.
As they climbed the podium, a grinning Hamilton said to Raikkonen: “It’s just like old times, Kimi.”
Hamilton added: “An amazing day, fantastic work by all the team and the fans have been fantastic. Thank you for having us.
“I am looking forward to the continuation of the championship. There’s a long way to go and a lot of work to do but we have shown we can compete. It is very, very close but we are going to give it all we can.”
Schumacher ended a dreadful day in 24th and last place, seven seconds adrift of compatriot Timo Glock of Marussia.
Hamilton’s lead increased to 4.4 seconds from Raikkonen and Grosjean with 20 laps remaining and, although the rapid Finn ate away at that gap, Hamilton battled successfully to preserve his tyres and win the race on another hot day at the Hungaroring Circuit.