Lewis Hamilton has completed a cleansweep of the Hungarian Grand Prix, adding a dominating victory to his imperious pole position to take his third win at the Hungaroring.
From the moment qualifying stated on Saturday afternoon, Hamilton looked in control, supremely comfortable with his McLaren machine.
Having scored only four points over the previous three rounds, Hamilton was overjoyed to re-enter the Championship fight.
‘Amazing day, fantastic work by the team,’ said Hamilton.
‘There’s a long long way to go, there’s a lot of work to do.
‘I’m looking forward to the continuation in the championship.’
Hamilton’s second victory of the year came under serious threat in the final stint of the race, with Lotus-not-Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen hovering behind him at a distance of around one second.
However, the Hungaroring’s tight and technical profile made overtaking difficult, which ultimately gave McLaren and Hamilton a chance to cruise home for the win.
Raikkonen was disappointed not to have been able to pass the faster McLaren, which signified yet another so close yet so far weekend for the Lotus team.
‘We had some problem with the KERS in the first lap, so that didn’t help us,’ explained Raikkonen.
‘We had some very good speed, we’ll keep trying next race to win. We have to try - at least we’re up there all the time.
‘I’ll take the second place, but for sure I’m not happy utnil we win.’
Romain Grosjean came home third despite starting from P2. However, the born-again rookie driver was pleased to be able to take home a decent haul of points.
‘It was a fantastic race. we were fighting for the win almost the whole race,’ said Grosjean.
‘We’re back on the podium, that’s what we want. I’m happy to be here.
‘I hope next time we fight and get this win.’
The battle for superior pace was between Hamilton and the two Lotus drivers, and culminated in a battle as Raikkonen left the pits on lap 45 - which Network Ten failed to televise.
Raikkonen found himself leading the race after Hamilton stopped for prime tyres on lap 41, but couldn’t do enough between then and his own stop four laps later to maintain it.
However, on the way out of pit lane, Raikkonen found himself alongside team-mate Grosjean, who he drove wide at turn one to hold on to P2.
From there until the end, the Lotus cars threatened to replace Hamilton at the pointy end of the field, but failed to seal the deal.
In P4 was Vettel, whose Red Bull had just enough pace to stay in touch with the podium finishers, but never really enough to compete with them directly.
Vettel was one of only three leading drivers to stop three times during the Grand Prix - the others being Jenson Button in P6, and team-mate Mark Webber in P8.
Between Vettel and Button finished Fernando Alonso, who executed one of his now-famous ‘damage limitation’ weekends during which his Ferrari didn’t have the pace to challenge for the podium.
Moreover, Alonso left Hungary with an impressive 40 point lead in the Drivers’ Championship - four more than that with which he started the weekend.
Further down the order - between Button and Webber - finished Bruno Senna. His seventh place classification equalled his season best result from the Chinese Grand Prix, and will be a confident boost after his less-than inspiring first half of the year.
Mark Webber finished in P8 - largely thanks to an electrifying opening lap during which he jumped from his P11 grid spot up to seventh place.
The Australian’s strategy was from there to consolidate his improved standing, but his three-stop strategy failed to pay off when overtaking proved to be more difficult that Red Bull optimistically anticipated.
Felipe Massa finished in P9 - and 12 seconds behind team-mate Alonso - after starting just one grid spot behind him with a qualifying time only one-tenth off his pace.
Nico Rosberg had a quiet race on his way to P10, improving on his grid position by three places.
Force India pair Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta finished eleventh and twelfth, ahead of Pastor Maldonado.
The Venezuelan driver once again raised the ire of race stewards, accruing a drive through penalty for causing a collision and forcing di Resta wide in a less than perfect overtaking move.
Daniel Ricciardo jumped from P18 on the grid to finish in fifteenth - and one place ahead of his Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
Heikki Kovalinen led home the backmarkers for Caterham. Kamui Kobayashi retired two laps from the conclusion of the race, but was still classified in P18.
Vitaly Petrov, Charles Pic, Timo Glock and Pedro de la Rosa finished in P19, P20, and P21 respectively.
Michael Schumacher was the first retirement of the round after a tumultuous race.
The German stalled his car on the grid - though race director Charlie Whiting noticed before starting the race, giving him the chance to start from the pit lane.
From there, Schumacher switched to the medium compound tyre on lap two, and spent much of the afternoon wading through the bottom end of the field. Mercedes eventually retired his car on lap 60.
Narain Karthikeyan was the race’s only other retirment, stopping on lap 65 with a mechanical failure in his HRT.
Formula One retreats for a mid-season break, and will return for the second half(ish) of the season on 02 September for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.