It wasn’t the greatest Formula One event of all-time, however Lewis Hamilton will be happy to come away from the 2016 Hungarian GP with the points.
In what was a fairly uneventful race, things only heated up around mid-race when Red Bull started making things a little more interesting.
Mercedes and Hamilton though were never really in trouble.
Red Bull’s efforts relied on strategic gambles paying dividends. They played a commendable hand with Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, but it proved no match for the Mercedes which had more than enough in hand when it was called for – even on old tyres.
A strong start from Max Verstappen forced Hamilton to defend into the first turn, opening the door for Ricciardo to go the long way round.
The Australian held the lead for a brief time, but Hamilton was able to recover and hold his line, and therefore the lead, into turn two.
With nowhere to go, Ricciardo was helpless to defend against Rosberg, who didn’t get await quite as well as Hamilton, the German simply drove around the outside to slot in behind his Mercedes team-mate in second with Max Verstappen an impatient fourth.
A solid race for Kimi Raikkonen saw the Finn making strong strides forward in the closing stages, the Ferrari driver well inside the top ten following a grid slot at the cheaper end of the grid.
While duelling with Vesrstappen for fifth place a tangle between the two saw the Finn wipe his front wing against the Dutchman’s car.
The damage wasn’t significant and he was able to continue, though there were suggestions his teenage adversary had unfairly changed direction multiple times to at least contribute to the clash.
Their battle proved the most exciting and enthralling part of the race, a damning indictment for a circuit which has produced compelling racing in recent seasons.
Victory for Hamilton also means he claims the lead in the world championship for the first time in 2016, demoting his team-mate – who held a 43-point advantage earlier in the season – to second place.
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix Leaderboard - Final Points
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes 25 points
- Nico Rosberg – Mercedes 18 points
- Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull 15 points
- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari 12 points
- Max Verstappen - Red Bull 10 points
- Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari 8 points
- Fernando Alonso – McLaren 6 points
- Carlos Sainz Jr. - Toro Rosso 4 points
- Valtteri Bottas – Williams 2 points
- Nico Hulkenberg - Force India 1 point