Belgian GP: Sebastian Vettel scores routine win as weather stays dry

Sebastian Vettel took a routine victory for Red Bull in a totally dry Belgian Grand Prix

Belgian GP: Sebastian Vettel scores routine win as weather stays dry

Fernando Alonso was able to tiger through from ninth on the grid to second ahead of polesitter Lewis Hamilton, but fellow title contender Kimi Raikkonen's long finishing streak ended with a brake problem.

It took less than half a lap for Vettel to claim control of the race.

Hamilton's Mercedes had stayed ahead through an uneventful start, but Vettel attacked immediately and overtook on the run to Les Combes.

That was the last Vettel's rivals saw of him, as the world champion alternated between cruising to protect his machinery and chucking in crushing fastest laps to prove how much he had in hand.

Alonso's confidence in Ferrari's race pace proved well-founded as a muscular first lap took him straight up to fifth place.

Jenson Button's McLaren and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes were overtaken soon afterwards.

A later first pitstop brought Alonso right up behind Hamilton, who he then passed as the Mercedes slipped a touch wide at La Source.

Hamilton retaliated with DRS on the Kemmel Straight, yet Alonso was able to fend him off despite a vicious twitch under braking.

Button looked like he might have a say in the podium fight as he ran long and hinted at a one-stop strategy.

In the end he had to follow the two-stop trend, dropping him behind Hamilton, Rosberg and the slow-starting Mark Webber.

The Australian's Red Bull showed great late pace having used hard tyres in the middle stint and softs at the end, the opposite strategy to most rivals, but ran out of steam when he came up behind the Mercedes.

Raikkonen looked set to finish adrift of this group even before a front brake issue forced him to retire his Lotus.

Felipe Massa resisted Romain Grosjean, the only successful one-stopper in the points, for seventh place.

Grosjean had an early brush with Sergio Perez in which the stewards judged that the Lotus had been forced off the road at Les Combes.

That earned Perez a drive-through penalty, and that plus late tyre wear on a one-stop left him 11th at the flag.

Qualifying sensation Paul di Resta faded from the start and was in a four-car battle outside the points when he was taken out at the Bus Stop by Pastor Maldonado.

Force India still scored thanks to Adrian Sutil's ninth place.

Daniel Ricciardo overcame Toro Rosso's qualifying miscue to come from 17th to 10th.

RACE RESULTS The Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium; 44 laps; 308.052km; Weather: Dry. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h23m42.196s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +16.869s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +27.734s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +29.872s 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +33.845s 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +40.794s 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari +53.922s 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +55.846s 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1m09.547s 10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m13.470s 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1m21.936s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m26.740s 13. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1m28.258s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1m40.436s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +1m47.456s 16. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m50.756 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 26 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 25 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 8 World Championship standings, round 11: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Vettel 197 1. Red Bull-Renault 312 2. Alonso 151 2. Mercedes 235 3. Hamilton 139 3. Ferrari 218 4. Raikkonen 134 4. Lotus-Renault 187 5. Webber 115 5. McLaren-Mercedes 65 6. Rosberg 96 6. Force India-Mercedes 61 7. Massa 67 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 25 8. Grosjean 53 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Button 47 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 25 12. Perez 18 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 12 15. Hulkenberg 7 16. Maldonado 1 All timing unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Matt Beer
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