Mercedes takes lead at Hungarian GP

Two-time defending Formula One World Champion Mika Hakkinen won his third race of the season Sunday at the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest, Hungary. The "Flying Finn" made a brilliant move at the start from...

Two-time defending Formula One World Champion Mika Hakkinen won his third race of the season Sunday at the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest, Hungary. The "Flying Finn" made a brilliant move at the start from third position inside pole-sitter Michael Schumacher to take the lead going into the first corner. Hakkinen never looked back, leading all but one lap of the 77-lap contest to win by 7.916 seconds. He also posted the quickest lap of the race (80.028 seconds). With the victory, Hakkinen takes the lead in the drivers' standings with 64 points, two ahead of Schumacher.

Teammate David Coulthard, who has three victories himself so far this season, finished third and is right behind Schumacher in the standings with 58 points. With six wins in 12 races, West McLaren Mercedes retakes the lead in the Constructors' Championship (112 points) by one point over Ferrari (111).

"I'm extremely happy," said Hakkinen. "Normally the perfect start doesn't happen more than once a year. After my getaway two weeks ago at Hockenheim, I thought that my quota had been used up."

"Mika's victory may have looked easy, but it was tough to achieve," said Norbert Haug, director, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. "This was one of his best races ever. The team worked perfectly, and the race strategy was excellent."

The Formula One Championship battle now heats up considerably for the remaining five races that will decide the two titles. On Sept. 24, Hakkinen, Coulthard and the West McLaren Mercedes team will compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the United States Grand Prix, to be contested on a newly built road course at the famed race track. Hakkinen, the first back-to-back Formula One champion for Mercedes-Benz since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954-55, seeks his third consecutive Formula One crown. Meanwhile, the West McLaren Mercedes team looks to claim its second Constructors' title in the past three years.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Norbert Haug , Juan Manuel Fangio
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren