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Hamilton in the clear at F1 break


Hamilton in the clear at F1 break

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BUDAPEST – Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton hunted down Max Verstappen to win the Hungarian Grand Prix for a record-extending seventh time on Sunday and surge 62 points clear in the championship standings.

Dutch 21-year-old Verstappen, who had started from pole position for the first time, was runner-up after being reeled in and overtaken four laps from the end with his tyres worn to the limit.

“That was definitely a tall order but I’m grateful we did it,” said Hamilton of a strategy that left him with a gap of almost 20 seconds to close in the final 22 laps.

“Man, that feels so good, guys.”

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third and more than a minute behind – an eternity in Formula One terms – as the top two waged their own private battle in the heat of the Hungaroring.

Hamilton, who also triumphed in Hungary last year and is heading inexorably towards a sixth title, now has 250 points, with team mate Valtteri Bottas on 188 and Verstappen closing in fast on 181.

The win in the last race before the August break was Hamilton’s eighth in 12 rounds this season and the 81st of his career – ten short of seven-times champion Michael Schumacher’s all-time record. (Reuters)