The sixth world champion finished ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by almost 14 seconds, and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen by 33, in partly cloudy conditions a day after heavy rain in the classification.
It was Bottas who won the opening – the Austrian Grand Prix – after Hamilton received a penalty from the grid in the standings and then a five-second penalty in his own race to fall to the fourth of the second.
“I’m very grateful to be back in first place and honestly I think it’s been a long time since the last race last year. Coming back this year after a tough weekend last week is a big step forward.”
Ferrari had no one in the top six on the starting grid for the second week in a row, which hadn’t happened since 2014, according to Sky – and things got even worse for the Italian set, occupied by the record seven. -sample of champion Michael Schumacher.
His two drivers, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, collided on the first lap, with Leclerc seemingly bumping into the four-time world champion.
Damage to Vettel’s rear wing forced him out of the race, while Leclerc needed a long stay in the lane before reappearing. Still, he would end up leaving the minutes after the fourth lap.
“I apologized (to Vettel),” Leclerc said on the official Formula One site. “Obviously, excuses aren’t enough at times like this. I’m just disappointed in myself. I did a really bad job today. I left the team down.
“I can only regret it, even though I know it’s not enough. I hope he learns from that and we’ll come back stronger for the next few races.”
After qualifying, team manager Mattia Binotto said Ferrari needed to do better.
“We worked very hard to bring upgrades to the car ahead of schedule, but they didn’t show their value on the road,” he said. “We have to find out why and change that state, which is not good enough for a team named Ferrari.”
Sergio Pérez of Racing Point was the biggest driver of the day, finishing sixth after starting 17th place on the net.
The season continues next weekend in Hungary.