Lewis Hamilton bolsters F1 title lead with victory in Hungarian Grand Prix

Arnold Nichols
July 29, 2018

But Mercedes missed out on a 1-2 as Valtteri Bottas was overtaken by Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen with five laps to go.

First, for his excellent qualifying performance in the wet on Saturday, which won him an important pole position.

Vettel emerged unscathed and Bottas carried on, only to have another contact with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo when the Australian tried to pass around the outside at Turn One and Bottas locked up and slid into him. Ferrari pitted Raikkonen on lap 15 and Mercedes responded a lap later, giving Vettel the clean air and the chance to push at Hamilton.

Mercedes were better on the wet track, no longer struggling for grip, and Valtteri Bottas was able to come in second behind his teammate and world championship leader, 0.260 seconds behind to be exact.

Earlier, the third and final practice was held in warm and sunny conditions, but by the time qualifying started there was rain, thunder, and even some lightning.

Hamilton moves four seconds clear of Bottas.

"I just don't have that grip", Hamilton, who also spun, said over the team radio in response to being told Vettel's fastest time. By lap 22 he had the gap down to 6.5s, but a mistake at Turn 12 on lap 23 saw a chunk of his hard work undone.

Pierre Gasly drove a great race to finish in sixth for Toro Rosso, comfortably leading home Kevin Magnussen in the Haas, while Fernando Alonso gave McLaren something to smile about, coming home P8.

With no rain forecast for Sunday's race, Vettel is hopeful that Ferrari's pace advantage in the dry will help him climb up the order. 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.

This 67th career win is his fifth of the season, one more than Vettel. Secondly, for driving serenely all afternoon - getting away well from the grid, opening up a lead that put him beyond DRS attack, and then consistently plugging away lap after lap. "He then aborted the lap".

Not only did he clash with Vettel but he made another error in the incident with Ricciardo, who despite being forced off track caught the Mercedes again. The result will be seen as a big scalp for the world champions and further proof of how the championship battle will swing on split second decisions and minor errors.

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