Sebastian Vettel won a crash-hit Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday to cut Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead to 17 points.
The Ferrari driver passed his Mercedes rival, who started from pole position, on the first lap just before a safety car was deployed after a multi-car crash at the first corner.
It was Vettel’s fifth win this season and the 52nd of his career, surpassing the 51 of four-time world champion Alain Prost.
Hamilton finished second, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas fourth.
‘I had a great start,’ said Vettel. ‘I’m not sure Lewis saw me as he pushed me to the left in the first lap, but after last year I ended up short, and this year it was the other way around. This year was better.
‘As soon as I was ahead, I relaxed. I had a good restart after the safety car, and after that, it was a very smooth race. We turned everything around and then controlled the race.’
‘Congrats to Seb,’ said Hamilton. ‘I did everything I could and we ultimately did well, but he drove past me like I was not there. We have to keep pushing to see what we can do.
‘They have got a few trick things going on in the car. I did what I could – we did what we could – so we have to keep working.’
Belgian GP Race Result
|1) Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari|
|2) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+11.061|
|3) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+31.372|
|4) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+63.605|
|5) Sergio Perez||Force India||+61.023|
|6) Esteban Ocon||Force India||+69.520|
|7) Romain Grosjean||Haas||+85.953|
|8) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+87.639|
|9) Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||+105.892|
|10) Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||+1 lap|
|11) Carlos Sainz||Renault||+1 lap|
|12) Sergey Sirotkin||Williams||+1 lap|
|13) Lance Stroll||Williams||+1 lap|
|14) Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||+1 lap|
|15) Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||+1 lap|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||DNF|
Drivers’ Championship (Top 6)
|1) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||231|
|2) Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||214|
|3) Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||146|
|4) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||144|
|5) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||120|
|6) Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||118|
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