Hamilton, who started fifth after struggling in qualifying, was leading by the first corner after Vettel collided with Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the start.
It could be a defining moment in the championship. Vettel was expected to re-take the lead at a track on which Ferrari had an advantage over Mercedes. Instead, Hamilton heads into the final six races of the season with a 28-point advantage.
Hamilton did so after one of his most impressive drives. Mercedes went into the race thinking about damage limitation, with team boss Toto Wolff talking about the best possible result being to limit the loss of points to Vettel.
But the Briton managed to avoid the chaos on the run to the first corner and slotted into the lead ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.
The Australian would have been expected to challenge Hamilton, Red Bull having had a clear pace advantage over Mercedes all weekend.
But Hamilton began reeling off fastest laps, and he remained serene through a madcap race that started wet, was dry for almost half its distance, featured three safety cars as a result of a series of incidents and ran to only 58 of its scheduled 61 laps because of the two-hour time limit. PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW:>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> How I Made Me =N=2.5 MILLION In 7 Days from 2 Common Product I Imported and how you can do the same. Click HERE FOR FREE Details right now Warning To Men: This 3 Foods Is Killing Your Erection. Click Here To Know Them Secret Fruits that increased my Manhood and makes me last 55 minutes+ all time - Click here to get it Warning: Got Arthritis? 3 Simple Ways To Get Cured And Be Permanently Free From Joint Pains. Click Here To See Them REVEALED!! Reduce Your Blood Sugar Level And Reverse Diabetics Within A Short Period Of Time. Click Here To See How MIDNIGHT,Pressed Mr Kilanko Suddenly Couldn't Urinate. Shrink your Enlarged Prostrate Here! Click Here Now