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Hamilton claims record win and top spot in title race

The defending six-time champion enlarged his overall total of Hungarian triumphs to eight, drawing level with Schumacher’s eight wins at the French Grand Prix, the most by any driver at a single race venue.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy on the podium of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on 19 July 2020. Picture: AFP

BUDAPEST - Lewis Hamilton equalled one of Michael Schumacher’s many records on Sunday when he delivered a classic drive to become the first driver to complete a hat-trick of Hungarian Grand Prix victories.

The defending six-time champion, who won at the Hungaroring in 2018 and 2019, enlarged his overall total of Hungarian triumphs to eight, drawing level with Schumacher’s eight wins at the French Grand Prix, the most by any driver at a single race venue.

Driving with exemplary concentration and aplomb, Hamilton controlled a tactical race from lights to flag, making light of changing conditions to deliver his 86th win, five short of Schumacher’s record total of 91.

It was Hamilton's second win this season, following victory at the Styrian Grand Prix a week earlier, and lifted him to the top of the drivers’ championship by a single point ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas who won the opening Austrian Grand Prix.

“Round One was multiple different punches that I wasn't ready for,” said Hamilton, referring to the defeat in the season opener.

“But I have refocused and we’ve just been on point here right through the weekend.”

Max Verstappen was a remarkable second for Red Bull after his crew repaired severe damage to his car’s suspension on the grid caused when the Dutchman had crashed before the start. He held off a late attack by Bottas to stay second by fractions of a second.

"It wasn’t how I wanted it, of course, but the mechanics did an amazing job to fix the car so to pay them back with second place is great,” said Verstappen.

Bottas came home a frustrated third, just metres behind, but ahead of Lance Stroll’s Racing Point, Alex Albon in the second Red Bull and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

"It was a pretty bad race, to be honest,” said Bottas. “I lost it at the start. I reacted to a light on my dash that went off – instead of the start lights so I had to do the start again.”

Sergio Perez was seventh in the second ‘pink Mercedes’ Racing Point ahead of Daniel Ricciardo of Renault, Kevin Magnussen of Haas and Carlos Sainz of McLaren.