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Hamilton claims maiden win for Mercedes to revive title hopes

updated 10:47 AM EDT, Sun July 28, 2013
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his superb victory for Mercedes in the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his superb victory for Mercedes in the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lewis Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix to boost title hopes
  • Kimi Raikkonen finishes in second place in his Lotus
  • Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel back in third
  • Vettel increases lead in standings after Fernando Alonso takes fifth

(CNN) -- Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory since switching to Mercedes and revived his world title hopes with a storming drive at the Hungarian Grand Prix Sunday.

The 28-year-old Briton made full use of his pole position to finish ahead of Kimi Raikkonen for Lotus and triple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull's Vettel increases his lead in the title race to 38 points after Fernando Alonso could only claim fifth in his Ferrari.

The ever-consistent Raikkonen has moved into second spot, one point ahead of Alonso with Hamilton in fourth, still 48 points adrift of leader Vettel.

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Read: F1 interactive guide to Hungary GP

But he will be heartened by a famous victory, with the Mercedes at last being able to capitalize on their qualifying superiority.

Fearing hot conditions and tire wear, Hamilton had expressed the opinion it would be a "miracle" if he was able to take the checkered flag, but in the reality his 22nd career win was almost untroubled, finishing 11 seconds ahead of Raikkonen.

"Brilliant job Lewis, fantastic drive," Hamilton's team told him over his race radio after the 2008 world champion ended a ten race winless streak.

It was his fourth win at the Hungaroring near Budapest, repeating his 2012 triumph with McLaren.

Hamilton acknowledged how crucial the victory was at the halfway stage of a season to date largely dominated by Vettel in his Red Bull.

Read: Hamilton snatches pole in Hungary

"I think this is probably one of the most important Grand Prix wins of my career," he said.

"We have got to work hard but if we can come here and make our tires last we should be able to do it anywhere," he added.

Australia's Mark Webber took fourth in the second Red Bull ahead of two-time champion Alonso, with Romain Grosjean sixth for Lotus after another incident packed drive by the Frenchman.

Britain's Jenson Button was seventh for the improving McLaren team with Brazilian Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari taking eighth.

Mexican Sergio Perez in the second McLaren and Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela rounded out the points scoring.

Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg went off near the finish while in ninth place so Red Bull increase their advantage in the race for the constructors' title.

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