Not that the Mercedes driver expected to win his first race since the United States GP last November, saying beforehand he would need “a miracle” despite qualifying in pole position for the third time in a row.
“I was hungry for it today,” Hamilton said. “I was going for every move I could.”
Hamilton beat Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus by 10.9 seconds and finished 12.4 ahead of Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, who moved further ahead in his quest for a fourth straight Formula One title.
Tying one famed drivers’ record drew praise from another.
“He drove sensationally, the best I’ve ever seen him drive,” said non-executive Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda, a three-time F1 champion. “We were not as quick as the Red Bull, but Lewis made it all up with the way he passed people.”
Vettel was frustrated at failing to overtake Raikkonen late in the race.
“I would have loved the race to have been a bit longer,” Vettel said. “I got close but I wasn’t in the prime overtaking spot at that point.”
Vettel headed into the weekend 34 points clear at the top and added four more to his lead as the race enters its mid-season break. The next race is the Belgium GP on Aug. 25.
The German has 172 points, 38 in front of Raikkonen and 39 ahead of Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who finished fifth to slip behind Raikkonen overall.
Hamilton has 124 to sit fourth.
Hamilton managed his tires wisely to earn his 22nd win. Coming into the race, he had been third three times. But he also won from pole in Hungary last year, and he kissed his Mercedes car and hugged team boss Ross Brawn following Sunday’s victory.
“We were on the back foot when we came in,” Hamilton said. “I feel like I really earned my keep today.”
ARCA: In Millville, N.J., Canada’s Andrew Ranger won the ARCA Racing Series’ event at New Jersey Motorsports Park for the third straight year Sunday, passing Chase Elliott with 10 laps to go and holding off Tom Hessert.
Ranger started from the pole and led 30 of 67 laps in the No. 53 Dodge.
“I feel so great, good for the team,” said Ranger, from Roxton Pond, Quebec. “We bought that car three years ago. We came here and won my first race in it. I think that car is built for here. It’s pretty cool.”
Hessert had his best career finish on a road course.