Lewis Hamilton scored his first victory for Mercedes thanks to an impressive drive at the Hungaroring.
The 2008 world champion pulled himself clear of a fraught race behind. Kimi Raikkonen fended off the championship leader Sebastian Vettel to the runner-up spot.
Mark Webber salvaged fourth for Red Bull while Romain Grosjean’s chances for race victory was spoiled by a drive-through penalty.
Hamilton’s initial battle was with qualifying rivals Vettel and Grosjean, after a thrilling opening lap in which slow-starter Vettel had to defend from the Lotus as Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg also tried to get involved.
The Red Bull was right on the gearbox of the leading Mercedes initially, but as the opening stint wore on, Hamilton was able to pull away, while Vettel came under pressure from Grosjean.
The crucial moment for Hamilton was when he emerged behind Jenson Button after his first pitstop.
Hamilton made the important pass, not so for Vettel. The defending champion couldn’t find a way by after making a pitstop too.
The McLaren and Red Bull made light contact, leaving Vettel concerned about his front wing and allowing Grosjean plenty of opportunity to attack, as Alonso closed in too.
It took until lap 24 for Vettel to finally pass Button, with Grosjean clashing with the McLaren as he tried to follow.
Both were able to continue, but the incident will be investigated post-race.
Grosjean still got a penalty though… Following his second pitstop, he boldly passed Felipe Massa’s Ferrari around the outside of the fast Turn 4.
But the race stewards adjudged that he had exceeded track limits in doing so and was given a drive-through penalty, dropping Grosjean out of contention.
By the time Vettel was clear of Button, Hamilton had a commanding advantage over the triple world champion that he would not lose.
The other Red Bull driver was not defeated yet, though. Webber ran a very long first stint on his medium tyres and spent a while in the lead.
On their slightly different sequences, Hamilton twice emerged right behind Webber after pitstops, and twice passed him on the outside of Turn 3, with Webber ending up taking to the run-off in the second move.
Those passes ensured Webber had no chance of delaying Hamilton’s progress as the Briton achieved Mercedes GP’s third victory of the 2013 season.
Meanwhile Raikkonen worked his way forward on a two-stop strategy, spending the early part of the Hungarian Grand Prix trapped behind Massa before bringing himself into contention.
His consistent pace meant that he emerged in second place as the final stops played out, with both Red Bulls behind him.
Vettel tried his utmost to pass Raikkonen in the closing laps and complained that the Finn was over-defensive in what turned out to be a decisive battle with two laps to the flag.
Webber tried to chase down the pair but had to settle for fourth, while Alonso fell away from the leaders and could only fend off Grosjean for fifth.
McLaren got both its cars in the points on two-stop strategies, with Button seventh and Sergio Perez ninth.
First-lap contact with Rosberg and a later brush with Adrian Sutil hampered Massa’s day and he finished eighth.
Rosberg tumbled down to P12 in his incident with the Ferrari. He recovered to ninth before a fiery late-race failure.
His retirement allowed Pastor Maldonado to end the Williams team’s points drought in tenth position.
So a fantastic result for Lewis Hamilton. His fourth victory at the Hungaroring and yet his first for the Mercedes. He becomes the first British driver to win for the Silver Arrows since Sir Stirling Moss back in 1955.
Formula 1 now heads into the summer break and it will be fascinating if the other teams can keep up this close competition as the racing resume at Spa-Francorchamps next month.
Race results from the Hungaroring after 70 laps:
1. Hamilton Mercedes 1:42:29.445
2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +10.938
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault +12.459
4. Webber Red Bull-Renault +18.044
5. Alonso Ferrari +31.411
6. Grosjean Lotus-Renault +32.295
7. Button McLaren-Mercedes +53.819
8. Massa Ferrari +56.447
9. Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
10. Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap
11. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
14. van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap
15. Pic Caterham-Renault +1 lap
16. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
Di Resta Force India-Mercedes +66 laps
Rosberg Mercedes +64 laps
Bottas Williams-Renault +42 laps
Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +28 laps
Sutil Force India-Mercedes +19 laps
World Championship standings, round 10:
1. Vettel 172
2. Raikkonen 136
3. Alonso 133
4. Hamilton 122
5. Webber 105
6. Rosberg 84
7. Massa 61
8. Grosjean 49
9. Button 39
10. Di Resta 36
11. Sutil 23
12. Perez 18
13. Vergne 13
14. Ricciardo 11
15. Hulkenberg 7
16. Maldonado 1
1. Red Bull-Renault 277
2. Mercedes 206
3. Ferrari 194
4. Lotus-Renault 185
5. Force India-Mercedes 59
6. McLaren-Mercedes 57
7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24
8. Sauber-Ferrari 7
9. Williams-Renault 1
Next race: Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps. August 23-25.