Spa, Belgium (4E Sports) – Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel moved closer to a fourth straight championship with a convincing victory in the Belgian Grand Prix Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps.
The reigning world champion crossed the finish line 16.8 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who drove a superb race to settle for second despite starting in ninth place.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton claimed the final podium spot, 27.7 seconds behind Vettel, while teammate Nico Rosberg came in fourth, 29.8 seconds behind the winner.
The win gave Vettel his 31st career victory, tying Nigel Mansell in the all-time list at just 26 years of age. More importantly, it put him 46 points ahead of Alonso and 56 points over Hamilton in the title race.
“It was fantastic race for us. Obviously it helped the first lap to have the tow off Lewis through Eau Rouge and then I was flying. Once I passed him we had incredible pace and really could control the race until the end,” Vettel said.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber fought back midway through the race but lost steam towards the end to finish 3.9 seconds behind Rosberg.
McLaren’s Jenson Button led very briefly during the pit stops on the 15th lap but Vettel was back in front before the lap was over. Then, Button lost ground but held on to a decent sixth.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finally overcame Lotus’s Romain Grosjean on the 40th lap to claim seventh while Adrian Sutil earned Force India two more points with his eighth-place finish.
Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo was also quick towards the end, passing Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber and team mate Jean-Eric Vergne to claim the final point.
Kimi Raikkonen’s amazing run of 27 consecutive points finishes ended with an apparent brake problem after his Lotus was seen emitting black dust from its wheels throughout the race.
After the race, Vettel extended his tally to 197 points while Alonso jumped to second with 151. Hamilton has 139, Raikkonen 134 and Webber with 115.
In the constructors’ stakes, Red Bull has 312 points, Mercedes 235 Ferrari 218 and Lotus 187. McLaren move back ahead of Force India with 65 to 61.