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Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton hunted down Max Verstappen to win the Hungarian Grand Prix for a record-extending seventh time on Sunday (August 4) 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.
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, a five-times world champion who also triumphed in Hungary last year, now has 250 points, with team mate Valtteri Bottas on 188 and Verstappen closing in fast on 181.
The win was Hamilton’s eighth in 12 races this season and the 81st of his career — 10 short of seven-times champion Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.
Bottas, starting on the front row, finished a forlorn eighth after a fight back from last place following an early stop to change a front wing damaged as he and Hamilton made light contact on the opening lap.
Hamilton, using fresher and faster medium tyres on a switched two-stop strategy after starting third, lapped all but the three cars behind him in a complete turnaround from his poor performance in Germany the previous weekend.
Verstappen, who made a late pitstop after being passed and made sure of an extra point for the fastest lap, crossed the line 17.7 seconds behind Hamilton.