Lewis Hamilton has won his first race with the Mercedes team, dominating at the Hungaroring near Budapest. Kimi Raikkonen finished second, thwarting Sebastian Vettel's late attempt to reclaim the position.
Lewis Hamilton got away well off the line, unlike Sebastian Vettel who started second on the grid, and never looked seriously challenged for victory in Hungary Sunday. The multiple pit stops of modern F1 have almost eliminated "lights-to-flag" wins in the traditional sense, when a driver leads the entire race. However, even when he pitted and dropped back briefly, Hamilton always held the effective lead when taking his opponents' various strategies into account.
Hamilton moved to the Mercedes team in the off-season, after spending more than a decade with McLaren. Until Sunday's race, he had twice watched teammate Nico Rosberg claim victory without winning a Grand Prix for his new employer.
"You could tell I was hungry for it today, and I was just going all out ... I was going for every move I had," Hamilton said in a televised interview from the winners' podium. He also called the win "one of the most important" of his career in F1.
The British driver made a couple of crucial overtakes that helped guarantee victory, quickly passing both Jenson Button and Mark Webber immediately after his first pit stop. Vettel also emerged from his first stop behind Button but it took several laps, and some traded paint, for the German to find a way past. The time lost during this period made the improbable almost impossible. Race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin, or "Rocky," told Vettel on team radio after the race that he had put in a "good day in the office."
Mark Webber finished an impressive fourth having started 10th on the grid, while championship hopeful Fernando Alonso fended off the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean to finish fifth. The last points-paying position, tenth, went to Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, meaning the longstanding privateer outfit finally put a point on the board for its 2013 season.
Vettel scores 15 points for third and maintains his overall drivers' championship lead. Kimi Raikkonen is 36 points adrift of Vettel, followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber of Red Bull.