Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second
Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second

29/07/2018

Lewis Hamilton took his fifth win of the season with victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valtteri Bottas came to blows on track behind him.

In a race dominated by tyre strategy, Hamilton converted Saturday's hard-earned pole position into 25 world championship points with a faultless race from the front. Meanwhile, Vettel, who started fourth on the grid, saw his shot at victory using an alternative strategy fall apart with a slow pit stop on lap 39, keeping him in third place behind Bottas when he emerged from his pit stop with 31 laps remaining.

Bottas, who was on much older and harder tyres than Vettel, held off the Ferrari until lap 66 when his the Mercedes' rubber finally ran out of grip and left him vulnerable at Turn 2. Vettel managed to get the run on Bottas out of Turn 1 and then squeezed the Mercedes to the inside under braking for Turn 2. Bottas, with no front end grip from his 51-lap old soft tyres, ploughed into the back of Vettel at the apex, damaging his fornt wing as the Ferrari miraculously escaped undamaged.

Vettel moved up to second place while teammate Kimi Raikkonen also benefitted from the incident and moved up to third. Bottas then came under attack from Daniel Ricciardo for fourth place with two laps remaining and was again involved in a collision, this time at Turn 1. The incident is due to be investigated after the race after Bottas clattered into the Red Bull as Ricciardo attempted to pass around the outside, but Ricciardo managed to take the position from Bottas a lap later regardless.

The result moves Hamilton 24 points clear of Vettel going into F1's summer break and is particularly significant as it came on a track where Ferrari was expected to hold the edge over Mercedes. It also came just one week after Vettel crashed out of the lead of the German Grand Prix, putting extra pressure on the Ferrari driver when racing resumes at the Belgian Grand Prix in three weeks' time. Mercedes now holds a ten point lead in the constructors' championship.

Pierre Gasly added to his growing reputation after securing sixth place for Toro Rosso ahead of Kevin Magnussen's Haas in seventh. McLaren managed to salvage four points from an otherwise disappointing weekend after Fernando Alonso went long on his first stint and benefitted from an overcut compared to the cars around him. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was in position to secure ninth on the same strategy but suffered a gearbox failure towards the end of the race.

That allowed Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean to take the last points on offer in ninth and tenth, although they also benefitted from Max Verstappen's retirement with a loss of power on lap six.

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