May 18 2013 Latest news:
By Alan Davies, Formula One correspondent
Sunday, July 29, 2012
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton won a nail-biting 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix for his third victory at the Hungaroring.
Top six in Budapest
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
4 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
5 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
6 Jenson Button (McLaren)
The 27-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver took the chequered flag in Hungary from pole position following a tremendous drive in the heat.
The 2008 F1 world champion from Hertfordshire just held off the mighty challenge of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen in a tense climax to a very tactical race near Budapest.
In a grandstand finish, Hamilton crossed the finish line just a second ahead of the former McLaren driver.
As he claimed his third Hungarian GP win, equalling Ayrton Senna’s record at the circuit, the McLaren pitwall told Lewis: “Great drive. Magnificent this weekend from start to finish. Great job mate.”
1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 164pts
2 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 124
3 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 122
4 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 117
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 116
6 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 77
7 Jenson Button (McLaren) 76
8 Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 76
Lewis, watched by his father Anthony from Tewin, replied: “Fantastic! Those guys were so fast. Let’s keep this up.”
Romain Grosjean was third in Hungary, to make it two podiums for the Lotus team, with Sebastian Vettel fourth for Red Bull.
In the provisional results, Fernando Alonso was fifth for Ferrari ahead of Jenson Button in sixth place.
Bruno Senna was seventh, Mark Webber eighth, Felipe Massa ninth and Nico Rosberg 10th.
The grand prix was briefly delayed after an aborted start, forcing another formation lap as Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes car was pushed off the grid and back to the pitlane.
Hamilton made a clean getaway from pole position when the race finally got under way to lead after the opening three laps.
He controlled the grand prix from the front in the first stint, but found Grosjean on his tail after the first round of pitstops, with Jenson Button running third ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
With overtaking difficult out on track, the race became very tactical in the middle stint, with both McLaren drivers on Prime tyres while their pursuers had Options on.
The McLaren pitwall told Lewis: “You are faster than everyone on track apart from Grosjean. Pace is very good.”
The gap between the leading pair ebbed and flowed, with Hamilton pulling a couple of seconds clear of his Lotus rival and then the Frenchman closing to within a second.
Hamilton was informed over the radio: “Seven-tenths quicker than Grosjean on that last lap. Gap now up to 2.4s.”
However, a few laps later the pitwall warned Hamilton: “We’re right on the edge of the DRS zone at the moment.”
1 Red Bull 246pts
2 McLaren 193
3 Lotus 192
4 Ferrari 189
5 Mercedes GP 106
Hamilton emerged from his second pitstop behind new race leader Kimi Raikkonen, who was still on his second set of tyres, but extended his advantage over Grosjean.
The pitwall told Lewis: “That was a great stop. We’re ahead of all the cars we need to be ahead of. 29 laps to go.”
The McLaren man regained the lead when Raikkonen finally entered the pits and Hamilton found himself four seconds clear of the former F1 world champion after 47 laps.
With 22 laps to go, Hamilton led from Raikkonen, Grosjean, Vettel and Webber, with Alonso sixth and Button seventh.
The lead was cut to under three seconds by lap 49 as Hamilton complained of oversteering.
The pitwall informed Lewis: “All cars have made their final stops. Raikkonen is pushing hard behind to catch up. We can do this.”
However, his lead was down to just 1.3 seconds by lap 52.
By lap 55 of 69, Raikkonen was within the DRS zone, with Hamilton having to defend his lead from the Finnish driver.
As Hamilton and Raikkonen threaded their way through back markers, the McLaren pitwall told their man: “OK Lewis, doing a great job, keep this going.”
“OK Lewis, seven laps to go, one more back marker ahead and then there’ll be a bit of a gap.”
Hamilton managed to stay ahead of the Lotus to the finish to claim his second F1 victory of the 2012 season.