Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix to head into Formula 1’s summer break with a massive 24-point championship lead over closest rival Sebastian Vettel.
In a tense tactical affair at the Hungaroring, Ferrari appeared to blow their best chance to challenge Hamilton by delaying a pit-stop for Vettel long enough that he emerged behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Four-time champion Vettel battled bravely to retake second place after a clash with Bottas that damaged the Mercedes’ front wing with five laps to go.
But it wasn’t enough to save the race as he emerged 17 second after Hamilton took the chequered flag.
Following his clash with Vettel and damage to his car, Bottas allowed Kimi Raikkonen to come through into third place behind his Ferrari team-mate, while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo passed him on the last lap to take fourth.
The late drama notwithstanding, Ferrari must be smarting having now lost two races in a row that they might have won with different strategies and circumstances.
Hamilton’s 24-point gap – with nine races left in the calendar – is almost a race victory and puts him in a strong position for a fifth championship when the season re-starts at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium at the end of August.