Vettel Wins Belgian Grand Prix to Extend Lead in Standings

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull won today’s Belgian Grand Prix to extend his lead in the Formula One drivers’ standings.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was second, 16.9 seconds behind, and Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton came third after the 44-lap race at Spa-Francorchamps.

It was Vettel’s fifth victory this season and the 31st of his career. He also won the Belgian race two years ago.

Germany’s Vettel, 26, who’s seeking a fourth straight drivers’ title, overtook pole-sitter Hamilton on the first lap and never lost command of the race.

“It was a fantastic race, from start to finish really. Once I got past Lewis we had incredible pace and could control the race,” Vettel said at the post-race ceremony. “I really enjoyed that a lot.”

Nico Rosberg of Mercedes was fourth, ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber, McLaren’s Jenson Button, Felipe Massa of Ferrari and Romain Grosjean of Lotus. Force India’s Adrian Sutil and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the scoring positions.

Vettel extended his lead to 46 points. Alonso overtook Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen to go second in the standings. Raikkonen dropped out of today’s race with a mechanical problem.

Vettel has 197 points, followed by Alonso (151), Hamilton (139), Raikkonen (134) and Webber (115).

Today’s race was the first after the mid-season break. The next event, the 12th on the 19-race calendar, is the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Sept. 8.

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