Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in Belgium

Rosberg slices up the field, while Webber falls back at the start

Rosberg slices up the field, while Webber falls back at the start

Sebastian Vettel has won the Belgian Grand Prix, after a safety car period granted him a tyre strategy advantage. He led home teammate Mark Webber, with Jenson Button taking an excellent 3rd after having started 13th.

Exactly like last year, Mark Webber bogged down at the start, and was swamped by the cars behind. Nico Rosbrg made a stunning start, slicing up to 2nd at the first corner, and taking Sebastian Vettel at Les Combes to take the lead.

However, on Lap 3, Vettel retook the lead with the help of DRS. Replays showed Bruno Senna making contact at the first corner, Alguersuari breaking his suspension, and the Lotuses making contact.

Both Lotuses clash at La Source

Both Lotuses clash at La Source

Both Webber and Jenson Button pitted on Lap 4, Jenson for a rear wing, Mark for prime tyres. With Vettel released into the lead, a 4-way battle emerged for 2nd. Fernando Alonso dived down the inside of his teammate for 3rd, but ran alongside him for several corners. He got past, and Lewis Hamilton muscled his way past Massa also.

As well as an extra pit stop, Bruno Senna would soon receive a drive-through

As well as an extra pit stop, Bruno Senna would soon receive a drive-through

Vettel pitted on Lap 6, taking on new options. Bruno Senna and Timo Glock both received a drive-through penalty for causing a collision at the start.

A fantastic straight-line speed advantage gave Alonso the lead at Rosberg’s expense. Hamilton was on Nico’s tail the next lap, passing with him at ease after Eau Rouge.

Vettel was flying on the new options, as Alonso followed the strategy on Lap 9. He emerged just ahead of Mark Webber, but the Australian shoved his way through – at the entry to Eau Rouge.

DRS wasn’t even necessary for Fernando, his Ferrari’s speed allowing him to slide past the Red Bull. Vettel made an incredible move around the outside of Blanchimont to pass Rosberg – who hadn’t even pitted yet.

Lewis Hamilton turns into Kamui Kobayashi

Lewis Hamilton turns into Kamui Kobayashi

Hamilton pitted from the lead, leaving Sebastian in control again. However, he was soon complaining of blistered tyres, and Alonso in 2nd was picking up the pace. The safety car was to close the gap, as Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the Grand Prix. The McLaren moved off the racing line to defend against Kamui Kobayashi. The Sauber took the racing line to attack,, Lewis moved back in, without realising the Sauber was there, and collided.

This safety car allowed Vettel to pit and not lose too much time, but he still succumbed the lead to Alonso, with Webber 2nd. When the safety car peeled into the pits, Vettel moved past Webber, and pushed to challenge Alonso for the lead.

Assisted by DRS, Sebastian passed the Ferrari around the outside of Les Combes. Sergio Perez was handed a drive-through penalty for causing a collision, while Jenson Button got past Michael Schumacher for 7th place. A brave dive around Adrian Sutil the following lap promoted him to 6th. Another brilliant move then pushed him past Felipe Massa.

Being no slouch, the McLaren quickly made mincemeat of Nico Rosberg on Lap 26. Button was now the fastest man on track, and chasing down the top 3 drivers.

Alonso pitted from 2nd on Lap 30, taking on the primes until the finish. Vettel made the same move a lap later, emerging behind Button. Rosberg and Massa stopped on the same lap.

Sebastian used DRS to retake the lead on Lap 32. Button decided to pit, and take on fresh soft tyres. This left Vettel being chased by Alonso for the race win, with Webber 5 seconds behind.

However, the options gave Webber a massive increase in pace, catching Fernando by a second per lap. He leaped past the Ferrari on Lap 37, then set his sights on Sebastian Vettel.

However, it quickly became apparent that he lacked the pace to catch his teammate, and so the focus turned to the battle for 3rd. With 3 laps to go, Button replicated his previosu passes, and moved around the outside of Les Combes to clinch the final podium spot. In a similar fashion, Michael Schumacher overtook Rosberg for 5th position.

Vettel recovers from poor tyres to cross the chequered flag

Vettel recovers from poor tyres to cross the chequered flag

Vettel crossed the line to take his first win since the European Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso took 3rd in the driver’s championship, while Button moved into 4th ahead of Hamilton.

Adrian Sutil finished 7th. Felipe Massa passed Vitaly Petrov on the last lap to take 8th, with the Russian pulling over on the pit straight. Hooligan of the week, Pastor Maldonado, took his first points in Formula 1 with 10th place.

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