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Lewis Hamilton brilliantly confounded all pre-race expectations to finally convert a pole position into a maiden victory for Mercedes in the Hungarian GP and suggest he could yet pose a major title threat in the second half of 2013, reported SkySport.
Despite having claimed what in itself was an unexpected fourth pole for his new employers on Saturday, Hamilton had suggested it would be a "miracle" if he triumphed around the tortuous Hungaroring in race conditions given high temperatures were likely to exacerbate Mercedes' long-standing tyre wear woes.
However, despite the sweltering hot weather duly materialising on Sunday afternoon, Hamilton's W04 amazingly showed no obvious signs of excessive degradation and from the front he balanced controlled race pace with moments of razor-sharp aggression to deliver a commanding victory for Mercedes at the tenth attempt since arriving at Brackley in January.
The victory was not only a record-equalling fourth of his career in Budapest, the same as the great Michael Schumacher, but suggests that a serious World Championship challenge that many had already written off might not yet be out of the question when the season reconvenes after the four-week summer break.
"This is surely one of the most important wins of my career. To move to a new team and win for Mercedes-Benz is a real privilege. I couldn't be happier," a beaming Hamilton told Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle on the podium after his 22nd career win.
"We have to work hard, but if we can come here and make our tyres work then we ought to be able to do it anywhere."
Hamilton heads into the holidays 48 points down on Sebastian Vettel, but within ten of the second place now occupied by Kimi Raikkonen after the Lotus driver beat the championship leader to the runner-up position in Budapest.