Hamilton prevails in Hungarian GP winJul 29, 2012 - 5:05 PM 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 season.
"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 win."
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 GP.
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