Vettel controls Belgian Grand Prix

By on Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vettel SpaSebastian Vettel dominated the Belgian Grand Prix as anticipated wet weather failed to materialise.

The reigning world champion took the lead of the race on the opening lap and was never threatened there on.

Fernando Alonso returned to the podium for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix as he equalled his best result at Spa with second place.

Polesitter Lewis Hamilton was third, a couple of seconds ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Mark Webber finished in fifth, with Jenson Button in sixth and Felipe Massa seventh.

Romain Grosjean, Adrian Sutil and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10.

After last year's chaos, the start of the race was a fairly tame affair.

Hamilton held on to the lead into La Source but was rapidly passed by Vettel into Les Combes.

Rosberg got ahead of Webber, while Button and Alonso also took advantage of the Australian. Vettel quickly got out of DRS range, leading by 1.4s across the first lap.

Alonso only took until lap three to get ahead of Button’s McLaren and quickly set about closing down the gap to Rosberg. It didn’t take the Spaniard long as he passed Rosberg on the Kemmel straight a couple of laps later.

Sergio Perez and Grosjean battled over the lower positions of the top 10 with Perez being deemed to have forced his rival off track. A furious Grosjean took evasive action and ran across the Les Combes run off and Perez was subsequently handed a drive through penalty.

Hamilton was the first of the front runners to pit on Lap 10, with Rosberg following a lap later. Alonso and Webber also made stops, while Vettel followed suit on Lap 14. Hamilton then opened the door to Alonso at La Source, gifting his rival another position.

The race soon settled down, with Vettel extending his margin over Alonso, with the Spaniard inching away from Hamilton.

Raikkonen’s run of consecutive points finishes finally came to an end. The Finn struggled with overheating brakes throughout the race and they finally failed at mid-distance. It is Raikkonen’s first Formula 1 retirement since 2009.

Paul di Resta’s strong grid slot was wasted; the Brit dropped to seventh at the start and was then involved in a collision with Pastor Maldonado at the Bus Stop chicane as a gaggle of cars battled for the same piece of tarmac. The Force India driver was forced to retire while his counterpart was handed a 10 second stop and go penalty. Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez was also handed a drive through penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage in the build up to the shunt.

Neither Giedo van der Garde nor the Marussia drivers could maintain their mid-grid slots as they regressed back to their usual position; Charles Pic retired early on courtesy of an oil leak.

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