Monday July 25th, 2016

This article was originally published on The Drive on July 24, 2016. Check out thedrive.com for everything cars, culture and the people who made both.

After falling behind early in the season, Mercedes-AMG star Lewis Hamilton has taken the F1 World Championship lead. The British driver topped the podium at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, his fifth win in the past six races. His Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, started from pole position and finished in second place. Hamilton made the race’s critical overtake at Turn 1 on the opening lap. He never looked back. 

Hamilton, dabbin’ on all the doubters.
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/GETTY

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull took third, less than a second ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who put in an incredible late-race rally. Ricciardo’s teammate, teenage phenom Max Verstappen, finished fourth, followed by Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari. Those two got tangled up earlier in the race, something the latter driver was none too pleased about. (Kimi, post-race: “I've seen people penalised for much less.”) McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso braved his immense boredom to take seventh, the Spaniard's best finish since Monaco. Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso came in eighth, followed Valtteri Bottas of Williams. Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India rounded out the Hungaroring top-ten.

SMITH: Corvette gets its 100th win, finally

The Haas F1 Team, America’s F1 team, had another rough outing. Lead driver Romain Grosjean struggled with his car’s balance for the duration, eventually coming in 14th. And, after crossing the line 12th, Esteban Gutiérrez was hit with a post-race penalty for ignoring blue flags, dropping him to 13th.

Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda, the lone retirement in Hungary.
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

But the big story here is Hamilton, who’s finally hit his stride. Flashback to mid-May, and he was third in the driver standings, a solid 43 points behind Rosberg. That margin evaporated quickly, and, after Sunday's victory, Hamilton is now six points ahead of his teammate.

Rosberg will have the chance to reclaim the lead at his home race, the German Grand Pix, at Hockenheimring on July 31.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.