Belgian Grand Prix 2013: Sebastian Vettel cruises to victory
Belgian Grand Prix 2013: Sebastian Vettel cruises to victory ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at Spa
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel secured a comfortable win at the Belgian Grand Prix, taking his fifth victory of the season and the 31st of his career to equal the record of Nigel Mansell.
The championship leader’s victory never looked in doubt after snatching the lead from Lewis Hamilton by the fifth corner of the first lap.
Vettel finished ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ driver and pole-sitter Hamilton.
Alonso drove a dominant race benefiting from a fantastic start that saw him jump from ninth place to fifth after the first lap.
Mark Webber struggled to maintain his position during the opening lap falling from third to sixth place and there was disappointment for Max Chilton as he dropped from 16th to the back of the pack.
The Stewards were kept busy throughout the race handing out four penalties – Sergio Perez received a drive-through penalty for forcing Romain Grosjean off the track during lap eight.
Lap 11 saw Caterham’s Charles Pic retire due to technical issues and there was misery for Kimi Raikonnen when he was forced to retire on lap 26.
The Finn had problems with his brakes throughout the race and was forced to call it a day after his attempt to overtake Felipe Massa resulted in him skating off onto the run-off at the Bus Stop.
It is Raikonnen’s first retirement in 39 races and ends the Lotus driver’s record point-scoring streak which stood at 27 races.
There was further drama when Pastor Maldonado’s move on Esteban Gutierrez went wrong seeing him go wide.
Rejoining the track the Williams’ driver tapped the Force India of Adrian Sutil and then hitting Paul Di Resta putting the Scot out of the race.
The Stewards slapped Maldonado with a 10 second stop and go penalty for the incident and in an unrelated incident issues Chilton with a drive-through for ignoring blue flags.
Gutierrez also attracted the Stewards’ attention as he was given a drive-through penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
The rain held off for the race which allowed Vettel to coast to victory – the German is now 46 points ahead of Fernando Alonso as he seeks his fourth consecutive world championship.
Belgian Grand Prix 2013: Race result
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 44 laps 1hr 23m 42.196s
2. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 16.8s
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 27.7s
4. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 29.8s
5. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 33.8s
6. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 40.7s
7. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault +00m 53.9s
8. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 55.8s
9. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes +01m 09.5s
10. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari +01m 13.4s
11. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes +01m 21.9s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari +01m 26.7s
13. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari +01m 28.2s
14. Esteban Gutierrez Spain Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
15. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault +1 lap
16. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault +1 lap
17. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault +1 lap
18. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
19. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps
Rtd Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 26 laps completed
Rtd Kimi Raikkonen Finand Lotus-Renault 25 laps completed
Rtd Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 8 laps completed