Hamilton goes top in F1 championship with record Hungary win

Title holder Lewis Hamilton moved top the Formula One championship for the first time this season on Sunday courtesy of a record fifth victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton beat pole-sitting Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the start to dethrone the German who finished second for his first Hungary podium. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo placed third.

"The start was everything," Hamilton said, and Rosberg agreed, saying: "It was all down to the start in the end."

It was the fifth season victory and 48th overall for Hamilton who is now the sole record holder on the Hungaroring with five top spots, one more than Michael Schumacher.

The two-time reigning champion Hamilton tops the standings with 192 points at the halfway mark of the season with 11 of 21 races completed.

Rosberg, who had led throughout the campaign, slipped to second on 186 as the momentum appears to have shifted to Hamilton who has won five of the last six races after Rosberg topped the first four for a 43-point lead at the time.

However, the Hungary winner has not won the world title the same year in the past 11 seasons, Schumacher being the last one to achieve both back in 2004.

The Hungaroring has seen only 13 pole-sitters winning in the previous 30 editions, and Rosberg also failed to make the most of first place on the grid on a hot afternoon.

He had a solid start but Hamilton's was better which allowed him to edge past Rosberg into the first right turn, with the German also briefly passed by Ricciardo before regaining second place from the Australian a few turns later.

"I got a good start and one of the Red Bulls was in the inside of me so I was pressured a lot into turn one," Hamilton said, speaking of an "amazing" race.

Rosberg said he was "out of space and that was it really. I was trying to put all the pressure on Lewis but it is not possible to pass on this track."

Last year's race winner Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was the first of the top racers to pit for fresh rubbers, in the 15th lap, with Hamilton following in the 17th and Rosberg in the 18th.

While the Mercedes were safe up front Max Verstappen of Red Bull found himself stranded in sixth place behind Kimi Raikkonen, down from four on the grid as Vettel also moved ahead of him, until the Finn finally pitted in the 30th after using longer-lasting tyres on his first stint.

Hamilton briefly complained via team radio he was "struggling for pace" as Rosberg closed in to just over a second, but Hamilton soon increased his lead again.

The order remained unchanged through the second and final round of stops which Ricciardo started early in the 34th and Rosberg completed in the 42nd, one lap after Hamilton who went on to win in 1 hour 40 minutes 30.115 seconds.

Vettel came fourth ahead of Verstappen and Raikkonen, the Finn finishing sixth from 14th on the grid and ruining part of his front wing when he tried in vain to overtake the teenager Verstappen.

Former champion Jenson Button dropped to last place early on from eighth on the grid when his McLaren lost hydraulic pressure, and had a drive through penalty imposed by stewards for "unauthorised communication" by his team.

That ended McLaren's hopes of having both cars in the points for the first time since being equipped with Honda engines from 2015 onwards. Team-mate Fernando Alonso came seventh.

The season continues next weekend with the German Grand Prix, the home race for Rosberg but also for the German/British team.

"To have the next race coming up very quickly sounds good, at my home race in Germany. It's going to be awesome," Rosberg said.

Last update: Sun, 24/07/2016 - 17:24

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