Jean-Eric Vergne became the first driver this season to complete a double victory in a Formula Renault 3.5 series weekend, courtesy of a supreme drive at the Hungaroring this afternoon.
The Frenchman jumped polesitter Sergio Canamasas away from the lights and after being pursued with tenacity by his adversary, emerged from the mandatory pitstop phase of the race with an extended lead.
Camasasas' own tire change was less successful. The BVM Target racer picked up a 10-second penalty for a dangerous release by his crew and failing to yield to a car traveling in the pits' fast lane.
Despite setting fastest lap, the Spaniard could not consistently match Vergne's pace, and was 5.5s adrift on the road prior to Vergne easing his pace over the final laps.
"I knew it was difficult to overtake on this track so I just tried to overtake Canamasas at the start, which I did," said Vergne. "Obviously he was really quick so it was quite hard to pull away. After a good pitstop strategy I was again able to pull a gap as the car was just amazing to drive."
Vergne's Carlin team-mate Robert Wickens, who finished third on the road behind Canamasas, also received a 10-second time penalty for a similar pitlane offense.
Epic Racing's Albert Costa therefore inherited second position, and recovered to his usual ebullient self after a tough Saturday race in which he retired following a collision with Jan Charouz.
"I was penalized in Monaco so this is a present for me," said Costa. "My last podium was at Spa and the team has worked so hard to be back up here."
P1 Motorsport's substitute driver Adam Carroll suitably picked up the pace on being informed of Canamasas' and Wickens' dramas, and the Northern Irishman stole third from the BVM Target driver by just a hundredth of a second.
"It's my third race in two years, which is not enough, so I really did feel like a rookie today," said Carroll. "I am working 100 percent to get a full season in IndyCar next year. I won here in GP2 in 2007, and these guys were in go karts [then] so I guess I am feeling pretty old."
After his penalty was applied, Wickens dropped to seventh place and consequently lost his championship lead to Vergne.
Alexander Rossi was also in the hunt for third, but Fortec's American charge was unable to find an overtaking opening an ended the afternoon in fifth ahead of Brendon Hartley (Gravity-Charouz). Reigning champion Mikhail Aleshin took a solid eighth on his maiden appearance with KMP Racing.
Among relatively few incidents, the safety car was required on the opening lap after Andre Negrao (Draco) and Sten Pentus (Epic Racing) had their second collision of the weekend at Turn 1.
The series now takes a summer break and resumes at Silverstone on August 20-21.