Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg also bumped Valtteri Bottas in the scrap for position at the first corner. What a start!
By Lap 9, this was already turning into a procession for Hamilton as the Brit began to surge ahead of second-placed Vettel at the rate of a second a lap.
Adrian Sutil's horrendous season continued after his third retirement in succession early in proceedings, and Rosberg began to slip back after problems with his telemetry, according to F1 Racing on NBC.
Lap 11 saw a disastrous pit-stop for Massa. It appeared that his team didn't have the correct tyres available and the mix up saw his sixth place upon entering the pit lane, become last place as he exited.
Pit strategy began to play a part as we approached the end of the first third of the race, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo's stop brought him out behind Rosberg on Lap 16. Hamilton's pit on 18 allowed him to rejoin in first position, just 3.5 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso but with fresher tyres.
An astonishing battle for third on Lap 23 between Rosberg and Vettel had the crowd on their feet, the former stepped on the afterburners as they approached the home straight to take Vettel on the inside.
Just one lap later and team-mate Ricciardo began to push the German all the way as the Australian tried to make inroads and by Lap 26 Vettel moved aside to let the aggressive Ricciardo in. Not before disobeying team orders, according to F1 Racing on NBC.
Hamilton had surged 13 seconds ahead again by Lap 30, as Rosberg eased into third just over three seconds behind Alonso in second.
The telemetry problems for Rosberg were forcing him into constant radio contact with his team and the situation clearly irked the young German.
Via Sky Sports' live coverage of the race, he was heard on the team radio saying he was getting "very annoyed" at having to keep looking at the fuel gauge.
Inside the last 10 laps and Hamilton's serene drive continued with a 13-second gap to Rosberg, who was in second.
Alonso looked good for a podium at five seconds ahead of the chasing Ricciardo, who in turn was an extraordinary 14 seconds ahead of Red Bull colleague Vettel.
There was never any stopping Hamilton in truth, and his win secured the first hat-trick of his career, per Martin Brundle via the live Sky Sports (UK) broadcast of the race.
Fernando Alonso can be well pleased with Ferrari's first podium of the season, keeping Ricciardo at bay to take third just behind Rosberg.