McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton picked up his second victory on the season with a dominant performance in the Hungarian Grand Prix today (Sunday).
The 2008 world champion dominated qualifying on Saturday to secure pole position – McLaren’s 150th – and made a peach of a start to grab the lead.
His getaway was so good that he had time to run very wide into the right-handed Turn One and still emerged in front. Behind him, Sebastian Vettel attacked Romain Grosjean, but as the reigning world champion got edged wide by the Frenchman, Jenson Button pulled a great opportunist move to nip past Vettel into third place.
Grosjean, whose Lotus is traditionally easy on Pirelli’s tyre compounds, kept leader Hamilton in check during the early stages of the race.
Button’s tenure of third lasted 15 laps, at which point he began to lose grip and peeled into the pits for a fresh set of medium-compound tyres. But when Vettel and Fernando Alonso came in for their first stops two laps later, Button regained the position.
Hamilton came in at the end of lap 18, and the stop wasn’t up to McLaren’s usual mega-swift standards due to a problem with one of the wheel guns. He lost more than a second, but when Grosjean came in a lap later, he made a slow getaway, meaning the Briton maintained his lead.
Grosjean switched to a used set of soft tyres, which proved competitive and enabled him to briefly edge closer to medium-shod Hamilton during the next stint. But the Briton’s more durable tyres enabled him to keep his rival at bay.
Vettel also chose the soft tyre for the second stint of the race, and closed in on third-placed Button, who was on medium rubber like his McLaren team-mate.