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Lewis takes a dominant Hungarian GP win

30th Jul 2012 1:57 pm

Hamilton fended off Kimi to claim victory in the Hungarian GP and revitalise a title campaign that begun to drift since McLaren's last win in Canada.

Lewis Hamilton hold off a charging Kimi Raikkonen to take a dominant pole-to-flag victory at in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hamilton led the majority of the race, but had a Lotus on his tail nearly all of the way.

Initially it was Romain Grosjean, who dismissed a strong challenge from Sebastian Vettel at the first corner, which allowed Jenson Button to then demote the Red Bull to fourth through Turns 2 and 3.

Button could not match Hamilton and Grosjean's early pace, so the McLaren and Lotus pulled away in a two-car lead fight. Hamilton had it under control, although Grosjean did ramp up the pressure for a while in the middle stint of their two-stop strategies when he was on softs and the Briton had medium Pirellis.

When Button made an early second of three stops, Vettel was free to start catching the leaders too, but in the end it was Raikkonen who emerged almost from nowhere to become Hamilton's main challenger. Kimi had been sixth in the opening stint, then passed Fernando Alonso's Ferrari in the first stops. His strong late-stint pace on a long run on softs in his next stint then allowed him to lead for a spell and vault from fifth to second, firmly resisting team-mate Grosjean as he emerged from his final stop.

Hamilton and Raikkonen were then tied together until the flag, but there was nothing the Lotus could do to pass the McLaren. Grosjean held on to third ahead of Vettel, who made a third pitstop without losing a place and charged back to attack the Lotus on fresh softs, to no avail.

Alonso calmly protected his championship lead on a tough day for Ferrari, finishing fifth. For a while it looked like main title rival Mark Webber would trim a little from Alonso's cushion. The Australian jumped from 11th to seventh on lap one, then got ahead of Alonso at the second stops. But making a third tyre stop cost Webber and he fell to eighth.

Button's three-stop plan was also unsuccessful, as his second stop left him trapped behind Bruno Senna for a spell. He got back in front of the Brazilian in the final tyre changes then chased Alonso home in sixth. Senna resisted Webber for seventh, delivering one of his best drives of the season on a day when his Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado lost ground at the start then received a drive-through penalty for barging Paul di Resta's Force India aside in one of the race's few concerted passing attempts.

Felipe Massa was ninth - four places but just a few seconds behind team-mate Alonso. Nico Rosberg salvaged a point for Mercedes as his team-mate Michael Schumacher endured one of his most depressing races in Formula 1. The seven-time champion was left on the grid in an aborted initial start, joined the race from the pits, received a pitlane speeding penalty, then retired from 18th late on.


The Hungarian Grand Prix
Hungaroring, Hungary;
70 laps; 306.630km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           1h41:05.503
 2.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +     1.032
 3.  Grosjean      Lotus-Renault              +    10.518
 4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +    11.614
 5.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    26.653
 6.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    30.243
 7.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    33.899
 8.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    34.458
 9.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    38.350
10.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    51.234
11.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    57.283
12.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +  1:02.887
13.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +  1:03.606
14.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:04.494
15.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
16.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
17.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
18.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +    2 laps
19.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +    2 laps
20.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +    2 laps
21.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +    3 laps
22.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +    3 laps

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:24.136

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth                 63
Schumacher    Mercedes                     61

World Championship standings, round 11:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Alonso       164        1.  Red Bull-Renault          246
 2.  Webber       124        2.  McLaren-Mercedes          193
 3.  Vettel       122        3.  Lotus-Renault             192
 4.  Hamilton     117        4.  Ferrari                   189
 5.  Raikkonen    116        5.  Mercedes                  106
 6.  Rosberg       77        6.  Sauber-Ferrari             80
 7.  Grosjean      76        7.  Williams-Renault           53
 8.  Button        76        8.  Force India-Mercedes       46
 9.  Perez         47        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari          6
10.  Kobayashi     33       
11.  Maldonado     29       
12.  Schumacher    29       
13.  Di Resta      27       
14.  Massa         25       
15.  Senna         24       
16.  Hulkenberg    19       
17.  Vergne         4       
18.  Ricciardo      2       
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