Vettel dominates Belgian Grand Prix

Hamilton, who was schooled by Sebastian Vettel on Sunday, claps for the winner

Sebastian Vettel took the lead from polesitter Lewis Hamilton about 1/3 through the first lap and pulled away to a dominating win in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.

Fernando Alonso was second in his Ferrari, 16.8 seconds behind, and polesitter Lewis Hamilton finished third in his Mercedes GP, 27.7 seconds behind the winner.

The victory is Vettel's 31st career win.

Fernando Alonso came from 9th on the grid to finish 2nd.

Nico Rosberg was 4th for Mercedes and Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber rounded out the top-5.

Vettel led every lap and set fastest race lap in a display of complete domination. He also led his 2,000th F1 lap in the process, reaching that mark at the youngest age in history.

“I don’t think we expected to be dominant here, and it surprised all of us actually; it's a great result. I think we knew going into the race that our race pace, compared to Mercedes, maybe gave us a little in hand, but we didn't know where we were compared to the others, especially Ferrari, and Lotus looked very quick in dry conditions also. It wasn't clear if the rain was going to come at the end of the race, so we kept pushing, but the gap we had by that stage meant we were able to control the race from there and the last couple of laps weren't too stressful."

Vettel streaks under the flag for the win

The race started on a dry track as Hamilton led Vettel off the grid and into Turn 1.

Thru Eau Rouge Vettel put his Red Bull in a four wheel drift on the limit of adhesion.

He ran wide on exit but was still at 100% throttle on cold tires.

He carried so much speed thru Eau Rouge that he blew past Hamilton up the Kemmel straight to the top of the hill.

It was all over. Vettel led Hamilton by a massive 1.4 sec at end of lap 1. He was already out of reach of DRS activation.

Vettel pulled away to 3 second lead by lap 2.

Lap 5 his lead was four seconds. Vettel then throttled back to cruise mode.

In the greatest drivers track in the world, Vettel gave Hamilton a driving lesson he won't soon forget.

Hamilton battles with Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen's run of 27 points-scoring finishes came an end at Spa when the four-time Belgian GP winner retired with suspected brake failure.

Raikkonen, who has a tendency to either win or retire in Belgium, was forced out of the grand prix on lap 26 when he ran off the track in his pursuit of Felipe Massa.

Trying to overtake the Ferrari driver at the Bus Stop chicane, Raikkonen instead went straight on and then straight into the pits after reporting "brake failure" over the radio.

The Lotus driver's DNF brought to an end his record of 27 grands prix inside the points and was also his first retirement since Germany 2009.

"Some days you run out of luck and today it was our turn," said the Finnish driver.

"I don't know if it was the brakes. It was not a problem until now but we need to check."

Raikkonen's first retirement since the 2009 German GP has dropped him to fourth in the Drivers' Championship where he trails Sebastian Vettel by 63 points.

More to follow….


Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h23m42.196s
2. Alonso Ferrari +16.869s
3. Hamilton Mercedes +27.734s
4. Rosberg Mercedes +29.872s
5. Webber Red Bull-Renault +33.845s
6. Button McLaren-Mercedes +40.794s
7. Massa Ferrari +53.922s
8. Grosjean Lotus-Renault +55.846s
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1m09.547s
10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m13.470s
11. Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1m21.936s
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m26.740s
13. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1m28.258s
14. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1m40.436s
15. Bottas Williams-Renault +1m47.456s
16. van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap
17. Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap
18. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
19. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
DNF Di Resta Force India-Mercedes On Lap 26
DNF Raikkonen Lotus-Renault On Lap 25
DNF Pic Caterham-Renault On Lap 8

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