Hamilton prevails in Hungarian GP win|
Budapest, Hungary (Sports Network) - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton put on a
dominating performance but had to hold off Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and
Romain Grosjean to win Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton started on the pole and only relinquished the lead during his two pit
stops in the 69-lap event at the Hungaroring course.
After the first round of stops, Grosjean moved to within one second of
Hamilton but could not catch him for the lead. Hamilton pitted for the final
time with a very quick 2.8-second stop on lap 40. Raikkonen made his stop five
laps later but rejoined the field alongside Grosjean, who was forced wide in
turn one. That allowed Raikkonen to take over second.
Raikkonen challenged Hamilton for the top spot in the closing laps, but
Hamilton finished just over one second ahead of Raikkonen for his second win
of the season and the 19th of his Formula One career.
McLaren has won six of the last eight Hungarian GPs. Hamilton's previous
victories in this race came in 2007, his rookie F1 season, and '09. Jenson
Button drove his McLaren car to victory here last year.
Heading into F1's month-long summer break, Hamilton moved to within 47 points
of Fernando Alonso in the world championship point standings. F1 will be off
during the month of August before it resumes its schedule with the Sept. 2
Belgian Grand Prix.
"It was a really enjoyable race, but it wasn't at all easy," Hamilton said.
"In fact, I reckon that it was one of the toughest races I've ever driven, but
guess what, I'll savour it all the more for that. I was under a lot of
pressure throughout all 69 laps. Romain Grosjean and then Kimi Raikkonen were
right behind me all the way through, and I had to look after my tires without
letting my pace drop, which was pretty tricky at times."
Hamilton's first win of the season came in the June 10 Canadian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen, who returned to F1 after spending the past two years in the World
Rally Championship, finished in the runner-up spot for the third time this
"It's a shame we couldn't quite get the win, but it's a good result for the
team, and we'll keep pushing to make that final step." he said. "The team said
it would be very close with Romain, but it was okay in the end. We managed to
catch Lewis, but it was impossible to pass."
Grosjean finished 10.5 seconds behind Hamilton in third place. It's the third
time this season he has made a podium appearance.
"It's a good result for the team, but to be honest, I'm a bit disappointed,"
Grosjean said. "We had a good battle for the lead with Lewis all through the
first two stints, but then I got stuck behind Michael Schumacher, who didn't
respect the blue flags at all, which cost me a lot of time. Because of this, I
lost a place to Kimi, and at the same time, a possible chance to fight for the
Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull finished fourth, while his teammate, Mark
Webber, took the eighth spot. Vettel and Webber both made three pit stops
during the race.
Alonso now holds a 40-point lead over Webber, while Vettel trails by 42
points. Raikkonen is 48 behind.
The Hungarian GP was scheduled for 70 laps but trimmed to 69 due to an extra
formation lap. The start of the race was aborted when Schumacher's car stalled
on the grid and had to be pushed onto pit lane. Schumacher, the record seven-
time F1 champion, started the event from pit lane but retired with 11 laps
remaining due to a mechanical issue. He is a four-time winner of the Hungarian
07/29 13:05:02 ET