The six-time world champion finished by 14 seconds ahead of Mercedes Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by 33 in partially cloudy conditions after a day of heavy rain in the playoffs.
Potas was the winner of the opening match – the Austrian Grand Prix – after Hamilton got a penalty kick in the playoffs and then a five-second penalty kick in the same race to drop to fourth from second.
“I am so grateful to be back in first place and frankly I feel like it’s been a long time coming since last race last year. And to come back this year after a tough weekend this past week, this is a great step forward.”
Ferrari had no one in the first six places on the starting grid for the second week in a row – and this has not happened since 2014, according to Sky – and things got worse for the Italian team’s once-leading record-breaking champion Michael Schumacher.
Her drivers, Charles Locklear and Sebastian Vettel, collided on the first lap, with Locklear appearing as the world champion four times.
Damage to Vettel’s rear spoiler forced him out of the race while Locklear needed long stays in the lane before returning again. However, he ended up resigning, minutes later on the fourth lap.
“I apologized (to Vettel),” Locklear said, according to the official Formula One website. “Obviously excuses are not enough at times like these. I am disappointed in myself. I did a very bad job today. I failed the team.
“I can only be sorry, although I know it is not enough. I hope to learn from this and get back stronger for the coming races.”
After qualifying, team leader Mattia Pinotto said Ferrari had to do better.
“We worked very hard to provide updates for the car earlier than planned, but they did not show its value on the right track,” he said. “We have to find out why and change this situation, which is not good enough for a team called Ferrari.”
Sergio Perez was a Racing Point player, the biggest engine of the day, finishing sixth after starting in 17th on the net.
The season continues next weekend in Hungary.