Lewis Hamilton has held off a surging Nico Rosberg to win his fifth Hungarian Grand Prix. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third after holding off Sebastian Vettel in the final stages of the race.
Hamilton enjoyed a better getaway at the beginning of the race and passed his teammate into Turn One while Ricciardo briefly stole second place from the German, who retook his position once the Australian was boxed in towards Turn 4.
By lap five Hamilton had created a gap of over a second ahead of Rosberg, which he extended to 2.6 seconds by lap 10, leaving Ricciardo over five seconds behind.
Vettel was the first of the leaders to make his pit stop from fifth on lap 15 to make the switch to the super soft tyre and rejoined the race in eighth position.
Ricciardo pitted the following lap and bolted on a new pair of soft tyres and began to chase down the Mercedes, who were struggling for pace at this point in the race having just pitted on lap 17 and 18.
The Red Bull driver was briefly held up by Valtteri Bottas who was yet to pit, but once the Williams pitted Ricciardo was in fresh air and was catching the Mercedes pair at almost a second a lap. By lap 22 Ricciardo had shaved four seconds off the Mercedes’ advantage and was six second behind, until Hamilton finally started registering competitive lap times in response to Red Bull’s pace.
Kimi Raikkonen, who started the race in 14th position, was running in fifth position having started on the soft compound tyre which allowed him to run longer in his first stint. The Finn ran his tyres for 29 laps before pitting and returning to the track in seventh.
Ricciardo made his second pit stop on lap 34 for another set of new soft compound tyres, and immediately launched another assault on the Mercedes drivers at the front of the field. The Australian was initially quicker and looked to catch the Silver Arrows, however the pace didn’t last long and started lapping the circuit a few tenths a lap slower that what was required.
This allowed Vettel a chance to have a look at taking third place from Ricciardo, as the Ferrari began catching the Red Bull and putting pressure on Ricciardo for the final podium position.
On lap 39 Max Verstappen made his second pitstop from fifth position and returned to the track on a new set of soft tyres that would see him to the end of the race.
Raikkonen was on an alternative strategy and made his pit stop and pitted 12 laps later for another set of super soft tyres, allowing for the Finn to push towards the end of the race and spark a battle with Verstappen.
The pair had a coming together at Turn 2 when Verstappen went to defend his position which caused Raikkonen to lose the front right winglet as he hit the rear of the Red Bull. The knock on the Ferrari didn’t deter Raikkonen as he was back on Verstappen’s tail just the following lap.
The Finn put immense pressure on the teenager for the remainder of the race but was unable to find a way pass despite a few attempts.
Traffic had caused Hamilton’s lead to fall under one second as he was held up by Esteban Gutierrez on the final corner, allowing Rosberg to get within DRS range of his teammate. Gutierrez was handed a five second time penalty for the incident.
Hamilton, however, was able to find some more time and see the chequered flag by just under two seconds ahead of Rosberg to become the most successful driver to race around the Hungaroring.
Fernando Alonso finished the race in seventh for McLaren-Honda, who had a mixed day of fortunes as Jenson Button was penalised with a drive through penalty on the 10th lap of the race due to his unauthorised radio communications. The Briton was experience a hydraulics failure and his team told him to not shift gears, what the team failed to do was instruct Button to pit to abide by the new ruling of radio communications.
Button eventually retired on lap 60 when blue smoked started pouring from the back of his McLaren.
Carlos Sainz finished in eighth position ahead of Valtteri Bottas, while Nico Hulkenberg claimed the final points paying position in 10th.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was running in 10th position and on track to score his first points for his career, when he spun at Turn 4 on lap 49 which dropped him to 13th position. Due to Gutierrez’s five-second penalty, Palmer finished the race in 12th position.
Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas