That was cut further in the closing laps, but Hamilton controlled the race from the front to take his sixth victory of the season to increase his 2015 Drivers’ Championship lead over Rosberg to 28 points.
It was the 48th pole of Hamilton´s career, his 10th this year in 11 sessions and his third at the majestic Spa-Francorchamps where he has suffered ill-fortune in the past, notably when he was penalised and relegated to third after winning the 2008 race on the track.
“The auto is feeling great on the circuit”, Hamilton said.
Hamilton has a history of botched starts this season but after taking his sixth pole psition in a row on Saturday, he made it look easy yesterday.
His chance to challenge Hamilton from the off was gone and although he recovered through the first round of pit stops to claim second place, he would not come within two seconds of the leader for the remainder of the race.
“I messed up the start”, said Rosberg. The cause wasn’t immediately apparent, but it was the second major blowout of a Pirelli tire of the weekend.
Hamilton was helped by Rosberg’s poor start, dropping back behind Perez and Ricciardo, and it took nine laps for Rosberg to get back in second place, some 8.3 seconds behind.
Rosberg, whose wife Vivian is due to give birth to their first child at any time, said he was keen to get home, but added: “Lewis did a great job and he deserved to win”.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one of the fastest and the longest in Formula One at 7 kilometres.
His team fitted three option and one prime tyre on Bottas’ vehicle .
Mechanical issues pressured a number of rivals, together with Australian Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo and Venezuelan Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, out of the race. His Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen stopped on track after a loss of power.
“Nico is definitely closer than when the VSC came out”, Hamilton observed over the team radio.
Still, Ricciardo held out hope.
“I don’t think the races this year have reflected my pace or pole positions and my goal now is to convert more of them”, said the reigning world champion.
Hamilton returned from the summer break in the F1 schedule to extend his championship lead over his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, who finished second. It should be a close fight tomorrow. We are keeping focussed for the next race now and Romain has shown what is possible.
Mercedes has dominated the season but had a lapse in Hungary.
Vettel, who started eighth in the grid, attempted a fearless race and even led briefly before pitting for the first time. This sparked a rash of stops behind him which put Rosberg up to second before he pitted, on lap 13. Rosberg, set to become a father for the first time next week, made his move on the Finnish driver at the chicane towards the end of lap one to take fourth.
Toro Rosso’s Belgian-born Dutch 17-year-old Max Verstappen qualified 15th but will drop down after being penalized for an engine change.