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 tyre 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 travelling 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 offence.
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 penalised 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 per cent 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.
Results - 28 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin 46m37.271s
2. Albert Costa Epic + 11.738s
3. Adam Carroll P1 + 14.105s
4. Sergio Canamasas BVM Target + 14.115s
5. Alexander Rossi Fortec + 14.942s
6. Brendon Hartley Gravity-Charouz + 15.708s
7. Robert Wickens Carlin + 19.726s
8. Mikhail Aleshin KMP + 21.342s
9. Daniel Zampieri BVM Target + 22.878s
10. Nathanael Berthon ISR + 29.948s
11. Arthur Pic Tech 1 + 30.500s
12. Daniel Ricciardo ISR + 36.503s
13. Marcos Martinez Pons + 37.468s
14. Daniil Move P1 + 37.951s
15. Jake Rosenzweig Mofaz + 40.039s
16. Fairuz Fauzy Mofaz + 40.777s
17. Nelson Panciatici KMP + 41.204s
18. Daniel de Jong Comtec + 49.231s
19. Oliver Webb Pons + 49.369s
20. Stephane Richelmi Draco + 52.849s
21. Jan Charouz Gravity-Charouz + 55.668s
22. Daniel McKenzie Comtec + 56.076s
23. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 + 1m02.028s
24. Cesar Ramos Fortec + 2 laps
Sten Pentus Epic 0 laps
Andre Negrao Draco 0 laps