Hamilton Takes First Mercedes win With Commanding drive In Hungary
Posted By:   |  28 Jul 2013   |  3:42 pm GMT  |  535 comments

Lewis Hamilton drove an imperious race to take his first victory with Mercedes GP at the Hungarian Grand Prix, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

It is his 22nd career win – matching Damon Hill – and a record equalling fourth at the Hungaroring.

It was an entertaining race from start to finish, with an action packed opening lap and a tense duel at the end for second place between Vettel and Raikkonen. Vettel, on much fresher tyres, made a move on Raikkonen in the closing stage but the Finn rebuffed him, firmly and fairly.

Vettel complained on the radio at the time, but afterwards accepted that there was nothing to complain about,

“I told him – but he only laughed!” said Vettel. “In the heat of the moment it was quite tight going into there. I nearly lost the car but that is racing.”

Raikkonen looked disappointed with the result, but this was more due to a difficult qualifying session, which meant he started in sixth place. Had he qualified where Grosjean did in third, he felt a challenge for the win was possible.

“I knew that my tyres were OK and good through the last sector so was pretty sure there was no chance to overtake me into first corner,” said Raikkonen, of the Vettel incident.

“But Turn 2 was a bit more tricky for me all race. He got a run once before and the second time I defended and then moved right. It was a bit tight but I kept him behind.”

Hamilton’s first victory for Mercedes could not have come in a more faultless manner. And the fact that Mercedes has now managed to win a race in intense heat, as well as on a high loading circuit like Silverstone indicates that they can master their tyre management and thus can be competitive anywhere. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said after the race that his team was taking the challenge from Mercedes very seriously indeed.

There were many strategies at work, but all required the drivers to deal with traffic and it was here that Hamilton excelled; getting himself quickly into clear air to make the most of the new tyres and to keep the temperatures under control.

As his rivals, especially Vettel, found themselves dropped into traffic following their pit-stops and struggled to pass, Hamilton was able to make quick work of the slower cars and allow himself a comfortable advantage throughout the Grand Prix.

Starting from pole, the first glimpse of race victory came following the first set of stops, when Hamilton pitted two laps earlier than Vettel and was able to dispose of a longer running Jenson Button. Vettel could not find a way through with such ease and lost even more time after hitting the back of the McLaren on lap seventeen.

The Red Bull was eventually able to make its way past Button on lap twenty-four as the Briton’s degrading tyres could not keep the train that had now formed behind, including Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso.

After pressuring Vettel for second place in the opening phase of the race, Grosjean came under investigation for gaining advantage from leaving the track in two incidents and was handed a drive-through penalty after being deemed to pass Felipe Massa outside of the track limits. This seemed pretty harsh as his move on Massa was the kind of bold move around the outside in a high speed curve which used to be celebrated in the days of Mansell and Senna.

His first incident came prior to that; colliding with Button at the turn six chicane. This incident is to be investigated after the race but could see the Frenchman with a grid penalty heading to Spa, a circuit which is infamous for him last year.

Grosjean came home in sixth place where a fourth place finish or better had been on the cards.

At the front, Hamilton’s ruthless overtaking maneuvers were critical to his victory today. A DRS-pass on Button in to turn one was bettered by an outside pass on Webber around turn three.

When in clear air, he managed his car temperatures and his tyres to maintain an eleven second lead and lift his and Mercedes’ Championship hopes in a much stronger position. He is now within fourteen points of Raikkonen in second place, and sees his team extend their second place lead over Ferrari to twelve points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Red Bull remain clear at the top of the standings with a seventy-one point lead.

That points lead was helped greatly by a strong drive from Mark Webber. Starting in tenth place, the Australian found himself in seventh in the opening laps and brought himself in to contention as he started on the medium tyre.

As the first set of stops were made, Webber took the race lead and was able to have a clear run for the majority of the GP. The level of traffic for Grosjean and Alonso allowed him to make a late stop for the soft tyre and bring the car home in fourth place.

Alonso and Grosjean completed the top six, and will have differing opinions on today’s race. Alonso made the best of the equipment he has at hand to maintain his third place in the Drivers’ Championship, but he didn’t have the pace once again and the Ferrari is now clearly the fourth fastest car.

His team’s inability to match the Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes race pace will put them under pressure heading in to the second half of the season.

Button, in seventh, and Sergio Perez in ninth were split by the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa. McLaren had improved race pace, but are still some way off where they expect to be. Their points haul today sees them close to within two points of Force India, who had a forgettable race.

Both Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta ended the race in the pits after technical failures.

Nico Rosberg also had a difficult day and saw his race come to an end in the closing laps with an engine blow. This handed Pastor Maldonado tenth place and Williams their first point of 2013.

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX, Budapest, Race, 70 Laps

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 laps 1hr 32m 09.143s
2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus +00m 10.9s
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +00m 12.4s
4. Mark Webber Red Bull +00m 18.0s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +00m 31.4s
6. Romain Grosjean Lotus +00m 32.2s
7. Jenson Button McLaren +00m 53.8s
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari +00m 56.4s
9. Sergio Perez McLaren +1 lap
10. Pastor Maldonado Williams +1 lap

11. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber +1 lap
12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap
13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso +1 lap
14. Giedo van der Garde Caterham +2 laps
15. Charles Pic Caterham +2 laps
16. Jules Bianchi Marussia +3 laps
17. Max Chilton Marussia +3 laps

Rtd Paul di Resta Force India
Rtd Nico Rosberg Mercedes
Rtd Valtteri Bottas Williams
Rtd Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
Rtd Adrian Sutil Force India

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that was quite unusual for raikonnen as he is a not usually a ‘laughable type’ on the track. i read where vettel had the unmitigated gall to say to kimi that’ you didn’t leave me any room’. when asked what raikonnen said, vettel exclaimed, ‘he laughed in my face’.

how embarrassing for the finger? he looked like a fool and rightly so. when people don’t bend to his will he becomes petulant and his body language says it all. he needs to grow up and take defeat like a man. at the time he looked like a spoiled child who realised that kimi won’t take any ‘merde’ from anyone. i loved it. the finger was fingered.


like it or not hamilton won the hungarian grand prix from pole while the red bulls were faster yet looked third class. raikkonen simply laughed.

looks like we’ll have an excitibg season after all.

Craig in Manila

Slightly off-topic but, as JA mentioned Damon Hill in the report, maybe it fits ……

Interesting that JA mentions that HAM has just equalled Hill in terms of race-wins as they are also essentially equal in terms of races contested. As such, maybe a good time for a comparo.

Wins :

Hill : 22/122 = 18.0% win-rate

Ham : 22/120 = 18.3% win-rate

Laps Led :

Hill : 1358/6310 = 21.5% led-rate

Ham : 1342/6687 = 20.1% led-rate

Podiums : DH 42, LH 53

Poles : DH 20, LH 30

F’Laps : DH 19, LH 12

Obviously, Hill spent many of his 122 races in mid-tier (or worse) cars and had a shedload of retirements (42 for Hill vs 18 for HAM) so simple comparisons aren’t always fair but, as they are both at (essentially) the same number of contested races, just thought it would be an interesting exercise.


Maybe comparing HAM to VET would be more interesting since they are racing eachother.

Craig in Manila

The comparison (Hill vs Ham) was done as JA mentioned in his report that they were now on equal career wins.

Vet and Ham have contested similar number of races (111 vs 120) so a comparison is not unreasonable.

It’s quite “one sided” though with Vet leading on wins (30 vs 22), on poles (39 vs 30), on fastest-laps (18 vs 12), on points (1226 vs 1037) and on WDCs (3 vs 1).

They are however equal on podiums (53 each).


Im going to say it…Lewis can win the drivers championship….. I believe!


Certainly the new tyres are helping Mercedes. They seem to slow down Ferrari and Force India, though.


James, you didn’t mention Alonso’s DRS fine. £13,000 for using the DRS three times when more than one second behind the car in front.

Would have been bad enough once, but to do it repeatedly is clearly not accidental.

Grosjean gets big punishment for going slightly off the track in a spectacular overtake. Alonso gets a pocket change fine for repeated violation of DRS rules.


Wondering why Massa didn’t get a penalty for first lap contact with Rosberg? Massa clearly left the track – with all four wheels – rejoined and smacked into Rosberg.

Need more consistency and decision making from the stewards.


Some leeway given at the start, when it’s all chaotic and there are many cars jostling.


Hungary suited Mercedes like Monaco did. Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull are all strong. This was Kimi’s race to lose today but he butchered qualifying. Vettel got the most given the circumstances he faced during the race.


Very well deserved win by Lewis 🙂


A very good race indeed. Hamilton will be in the charge for sure. WDC is blown open now. Vettel looks worried now, please don’t blame Button. Kimi was very controlled with Alonso preventing the overtakes from Vettel and Grosjean, two wily old foxes as they say.

Lifted my spirit now, the three contenders Vettel, Kimi and Hamilton now. Kinda lost my hopes for Alonso, not his fault though, Ferrari needs James Allison right now! Not next year. The prancing horse needs a huge miracle.

Grosjean raw speed is useless without racing skills, he could’ve won IMHO, well he displayed his flaws.

A nice end to the first half of the season.


Ferrari to buy out Alison’s contract at Lotus, then Lotus can pay Kimi with the cash 🙂


I didn’t catch the race but everyone seems to be talking about Grosjean’s and Hamilton’s great overtaking. For those who remember it, I was wondering how their passes stack up to Nelson Piquet’s amazing opposite lock pass around the outside of Ayrton Senna at the 1986 Hungarian GP (my all time favorite pass in F1).


Torchwood Five


I suspect you may be misinterpreting the general “great overtaking” vibe.

Hamilton’s overtaking was significant in that it allowed him to stay in clean air, and pull ahead of the pursuing Vettel.

We are not calling the moves “great” in the sense that they can be voted into a top ten of overtakes during the history of the sport.


Congrats to Lewis Hamilton and Ross Braun what a race what a good job setting up the car. Truly excited for what they have accomplished too bad Ross is moving on soon, maybe he will be Bernie’s replacement.

Ferrari and Alonso breaks rules has no punishment uses DRS 3 times illegally. FIA lears Ferrari left DRS in manual mode so Alonso can open it whenever he wants. FIA rules that it is not a big deal and fines them 15K Euros. 15K Euros for a team that spends almost a billion a year. That will teach them, they will have to let the Jet coast a few minutes on the way home to pay for it.

Romain Grosjean does not break rules and has punishment. The US broadcast guys said that if the FIA was going to call that a penalty then RG might want to consider retiring because obviously someone did not want him racing.

Vettel loses KERS and small part of front wing finishes 3rd and people say he: can’t drive, can’t overtake, has an inferior car, a superior car, KERS issues only happen to Webber the list goes on.

On the RJ deal the US broadcast showed it a few times, but they might not have had all the angles FIA had. But that was pretty ticky tack. Hobbes said if anyone should have been penalized on the Button incident it was Button but he overall felt that just like with the Masa incident it was just racing and good racing at that.

nicolas nogaret

how ill informed this is, not just by the poster but by hobbs

grosjean had all 4 wheels off the track AND GAINED AN ADVANTAGE ; the video clearly shows it ..had he given the place back , no penalty ; grosjean lacks spatial awareness , so maybe he didn’t realise it ; in any case , compulsory penalty

grosjean turned into button , button was under no obligation to brake to let him past , especially as he was on the racing line , no idea what hobbs was thinking ;button went as near to the edge as was possible , had 1 wheel on the grass ; again , lack of spacial awareness by grosjean ; FIA fudged that by giving a non -penalty

the graphics showed that vettel’s kers continued to work ; the broken front wing was his own fault ; the marginal cooling on the red bull is a design feature which is why vettel had to cool the car ; webber’s strategy was designed to allow him to run in cool air as much as possible which is why , after a great first stint , he was able to get such a good result

FIA stands for Ferrari International Assistance …they just get their knuckles rapped


So on the Masa overtake he was clearly off? I would like to see the video of that. That is what he did the drive through for.

As for the Button off, that too could have been called just racing I have seen the car in Buttons place get penalized for pushing a car off the track.

Also it appeared RG had completed the pass prior to going off against button so questionable if RG had an advantage. The US broadcast then showed several cars doing the same thing. Kimi, Vettel, and someone else.

I guess Masa is ill informed as well:


Yes the graphics that must be definitive. What generates the graphic pushing the button or something else? Since the radio transmissions are not in real time did they get the KERS fixed prior to the hot lap? I didn’t say he lost KERS for the whole race, just that he had a failure, I have no idea how long or if they got it fixed. Vettel unlike Webber and Alonso doesn’t make excuses he just performs.

How about a little less name calling and maybe get some clarification before you post Nicolas nogart it makes you look ill informed. I will grant that my last paragraph talks about 2 different incidents and I could have made it clearer, so for that I apologize.

Finally my point is as you agree there seems to be several sets of rules.


‘vettel, unlike webber and alonso doesn’t make excuses, he just performs’.

are we talking about the same vettel?

‘get him out of the way’ ‘call charlie whiting, he didn’t leave me any room’ and countless other instances. webber quite rightly criticised the team for the abysmal apology for a competetive car he raced in quali on saturday.

on sunday he proved a point and just got on with the job of achieving a fourth place from tenth on the grid, + the fastest lap of the race. vettel believes that he has an entitlement that is not shared, thankfully, by the great majoity of other drivers. if vettel wasn’t such a fast driver he’d be a joke.


lots of good posts here but i can’t help feel that mercedes foxed everyone. all their protestations re tyres were just so much empty rhetoric.

they were on top of the tyre issues from quali onwards. hamiltons ‘miracle’ comment was designed to make people believe that they were lucky!!!

this doesn’t detract from hamiltons drive at all. he drove well and he called the shots. for me, the vettel ‘shut out’ by raikonnen was sweet, made even sweeter by vettel’s anguished call for charlie whiting to intervene?

vying for driver of the day was webber who has been overlooked by many. his drive was a sterling effort considering the impossible situation he was placed in pre race start. the overtake by hamilton was inevitable as the tyres on webbers car were not up to it and the mercedes was overpowering.

not a bad race at all and it showed that vettel does have something in common with schumacher, ‘a glass jaw’.

Tornillo Amarillo

Good for Pirelli finally, not explosions, 2 or 3 stops, nobody talking about tyres, well done, I hope.


Drivers pushing throughout the race, and the tyres doing their intended work.

Such a joy to see.



How much of McLaren and Ferrari’s problems come down to Toyota’s wind tunnel?


I don’t think that’s at fault – their own tunnels have been a problem and Toyota is filling a gap

I think Ferrari has lost confidence, McLaren looks like it’s regaining it


I think Ferrari is in a bigger trouble for 2014 and maybe this is why Alonso is trying to put himself in a position where he will be able to challenge for the title. Alonso always wanted to win 3 titles and I think he knows he has another 2-3 years to try and do it. Is Ferrari the right team to achieve it? Maybe Red Bull or Mercedes? I think he really has a dilemma. I would assume that he might have a clause in his contract that would allow him to terminate his contract if the team is not going to perform at a certain level. Have no clue, but I would assume that this empty Red Bull seat for next is really tempting…


What about their suspension system? Do they not both have the same Pull-Rod system?



Thread the Needle

Really enjoyed the race, this is what F1 should be like, not the tyre saving championship we have had so far

Great victory for Lewis and Mercedes

Hopefully some great battles to come between Vettel, Kimi, Alonso and Hamilton

Grosjean unlucky with the penalty for going off track.

John Wainwright

Really enjoyed today’s race. I’ve always liked the Hungary GP since Damon’s ill-lucked Arrows drive. It was great to Lewis drive to his best…sometimes he can be the most frustrating driver to support and after seeing his rather downbeat interviews over FP1,2,3 and quali’, I feared the worst.

Kimi was, well Kimi really. Solid and reliable and living up to his Iceman legend.

Must admit to having a soft spot for Grojean. At his core he is a very fast driver but unfortunately has yet to develop any great situational awareness. Maybe he will if Lotus give him time. He’s reminds me of a spaniel puppy…all happy and eager but somewhat erratic!!

Was most amused by Sebastian’s response to the BBC’s question about the possible arrival of Fernando at RB. Would certainly make great viewing for the fans.


Think about how close Kimi would be to Seb if he Perez didnt run into the back of him in Monaco, if his team didnt make that huge strategy error in Silverstone and that unfortunate pitstop in Canada?

If I recall correctly, he was in P2 at the time in Silverstone and P5 or P6 in the other two races. Not saying thats where he would have finisihed, but wouldve been a good points haul….. and closer to Seb.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Just hoping the chasing pack can mount a challenge on Seb whilst on his way to WDC no. 4. Not that I dislike Seb, think he’s a great guy 🙂


I think either Hamilton or Kimi or both have a good chance to close the gap to Vettel. If either or both of them can get to within 15 points, then Brazil should be another interesting race.

Hamilton needs 3 more wins. Kimi needs to finish 5 more races ahead of Vettel.

Nice to again see 3 WDC on the podium.


While of course the combinations are possible with Hamilton only winning 3 more races, I think to mount a serious challenge he would have to win 5-6 of the remaining 9 races. And he would need Rosberg scoring big points as well, to deny them to Vettel.

Vettel so far has not finished worse than 4th in any race. Hamilton, when he’s scored, has always been in the top 5 (there was that nightmare result in Spain, P2 to P12). Really, a DNF for Vettel is probably needed to tighten the race up some. Hamilton hasn’t DNF’d this season so far. Last season he always DNF’d in the next race after a victory.


He DNF’d in Silverstone


Thats assuming this trend would continue.


Only problem is, the RBR is better than both of their cars. But if like yesterday, Vettel has a few issues/traffic and both Kimi/Lewis steal points off him, they may have a chance to close in. On the plus side, Romain seems to be upping his game recently so maybe he could possible cause a few ‘issues’ for Seb to worry about 😉


Really enjoyed the race today. The way the tyres were for this race is exactly as they should be. The result was we had overtakes by Hamilton and Grosjean (he should not have been penalised) that made us go WOW!

Great job by Pirelli and also Mercedes/Hamilton.


+1. Thought the Pirelli’s (both the durability and variance between options and primes) were the best all season.


Is the Alonso Red Bull connection serious? If so, how many different teams would Alonso like to drive for? Ferrari should punish its untrustworthy driver.


Judging by Horner’s interview expressions, it’s not.


I think Alonso is sending a stern message to Ferrari’s management.

Perhaps some Ferrari heads will roll after this. So that James Alison has the freedom to do good work.

Makes no sense for Alonso to think that RB will be a better car than Ferrari in 2014. In fact, if Mercedes push RB to the wire, Ferrari will have a head start with 2014 car development.


Oh yes! Give Hamilton the car and set up, and he’ll produce the win. There are fast drivers and then there is Lewis Hamilton. I hope Mercedes can consitently give him the vehicle (no pun intended) to challenge for the championship. – He deserves it.


It’s not a “lottery” when your driver starts doing well is it?


Let’s be clear. Lewis Hamilton is British and he is a top draw driver capable of quite astounding overtaking moves, and as I say give him the equipment and he’ll produce the win. I do not like high degradation tyres as they kerb spirited driving. This weekend Mercedes got it right for Lewis and I hope they continue to do so. Because Lewis was on a three stop strategy we saw more of the old Lewis and he simply drove the wheels off the thing.


My DotD Jenson Button! Keeping Vettel behind for 12 laps!!! Lewis owes him a beer! Great race today! Grosjean did not deserve a drive through, think the stewards have it in for him. Great win for Lewis, nice to see Ross on the podium 🙂


There is a news out on autosport that Alonso may be heading to Redbull for 2014


That’s what he’s trying but he would be in breach of contract if Ferrari hold him to the signing. However that would not be a problem if Monte decides he’s had enough of Alonso and signs Vettel instead. Interesting times ahead.


Yes indeed, though its hard to see that happening, then again he did leave McLaren for a rather fruitless return to Renault in 2008.

Alonso is starting to resemble a driver with great potential who’s wasting (mostly through no fault of his own) the best years of his career in under performing cars.

Despite all the positive sounds week in week out, season after season from Ferrari, not since Massa dominated the 2008 Brazilian GP and much of that championship with six wins have Ferrari performed consistently like a team capable of winning a world championship, in the way that Red Bull have. Alonso has been left down badly by the team and at some point everything takes its toll.

Nonetheless I struggle to see this particular constellation lining up, but stranger things have happened. Schumacher to Mercedes comes to mind. Alonso is a racer after all, determined, focused and above all selfish – that’s not criticism – merely a fact, all the best ones are, surely even he must be just a little intrigued at the notion of driving for such a winning team.


RAI/HUL for the Scuderia in 2014?


Grosjeans’s incident with Button was a racing incident. Why was he penalised? Alonso breached the DRS rule THREE times and still got away with a slap on the wrist. Is this fair?


The Rosberg Massa incident looked very similar to thid one…

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