Lewis Hamilton finishes third as Esteban Ocon wins in Hungary


steban Ocon claimed one of the most unlikely victories in recent Formula One memory at the Hungarian Grand Prix – as Lewis Hamilton delivered a stunning comeback drive from last to third to take the lead of the championship.

Alpine’s Ocon held his nerve to cross the line 1.8 seconds clear of Sebastian Vettel as the French driver took advantage of a rain-hit start at the Hungaroring to take the first triumph of his career.

Following a chaotic opening, pole-sitter Hamilton was in last place, but the Mercedes driver fought his way past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz with three laps to run to take the final spot on the podium and move six points clear of Max Verstappen, who finished 10th.

A rain shower 30 minutes before the race contributed to a crazy opening corner which saw Valtteri Bottas crash into McLaren’s Lando Norris, who in turn collided with Verstappen. An out-of-control Bottas also wiped out Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull.

Bottas, Norris and Perez were all forced to retire with the damage sustained, while Verstappen was left with a significantly wounded machine. The race was stopped for 25 minutes to clear up the debris sprawled across the circuit.

A chaotic first corner left the race wide open.

/ Pool via REUTERS

But as the race restarted, and the track now virtually dry, Mercedes left Hamilton out on wet tyres, while all those behind peeled in for slick rubber.

In bizarre scenes, it meant that Hamilton was the only one who started from his grid slot as the lights went out.The Briton pitted the next time around, dropping him to last, with Ocon taking the lead of the race ahead of Vettel and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

Hamilton took aim at his team over the radio: “Come on, guys, get on it for the rest of the race.” “We are on it, Lewis,” came the reply from his race engineer, Peter Bonnington. “Verstappen still has damage. You are going to be the fastest man out there easily. We can still win this.”

By lap 16, Hamilton moved past Mick Schumacher to take 11th and he then moved ahead of Verstappen, in his patched-up Red Bull, and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, by virtue of stopping for the hard tyres one lap earlier.

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