Belgian Grand Prix 2013 Results: Reaction, Leaders and Post Race Analysis
Sebastian Vettel won an intriguing Belgian Grand Prix, taking the lead early and making it stick.
The rain held off, making for a dry race, and Fernando Alonso took full advantage of an improved car to slice through the field and take second place.
Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton took third.
Here's how the results affect the championship race, the reaction from the drivers, and the winners and losers from Spa-Francorchamps.
Race Report and Key Incidents
Sebastian Vettel won his fifth race of the season to underline his and Red Bull's dominance.
The German made an early pass on polesitter Lewis Hamilton and never looked back, ending up with a 16-second cushion over eventual runner-up Fernando Alonso.
Alonso had driven superbly and combatively to gain seven places from his qualifying spot, while Hamilton found that his car simply could not compete with either the Red Bull or the Ferrari.
#F1 This is the fourth successive season Vettel wins five GPs, equalling Ayrton Senna (1988-91) and Michael Schumacher (2000-04).— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) August 25, 2013
It meant that Vettel's championship lead stretched out to 47 points after Kimi Raikkonen suffered his first retirement since his return to the sport last year, courtesy of a brakes failure.
Key moments from the race
Lap 1 - Alonso begins to clamber his way forward, up from P9 on the grid to P5 in double-quick time.
Lap 1 - Vettel jumps ahead of Hamilton for the race lead before Les Combes and starts to dictate terms.
Lap 6 - Alonso with the benefit of DRS moves into third place, skipping past Button and Rosberg.
Lap 12 - Perez receives a drive-through penalty after forcing Grosjean off the track.
Lap 15 - Thrilling move from Alonso after Hamilton goes wide at La Source to move back up to third.
Lap 18 - Raikkonen with a contender for pass of the day, skipping around Perez on the outside at Turn 9.
Lap 25 - Raikkonen passes Massa, brakes appear to fail on him and he goes straight into the pits. His first retirement since his return to F1 last year.
Lap 26 - Di Resta forced out of race, an innocent victim of a controversial battle between Sutil and Maldonado.
Lap 37 - Drive-through penalty for Maldonado over the Sutil/Di Resta incident.
Lap 44 - Vettel takes the chequered flag in Belgium.
Full results (via Formula1.com)
Updated Driver Standings
Here are the latest standings, per the official Formula 1 website:
|1||Sebastian Vettel||German||Red Bull Racing-Renault||197|
|5||Mark Webber||Australian||Red Bull Racing-Renault||115|
|10||Paul di Resta||British||Force India-Mercedes||36|
|11||Adrian Sutil||German||Force India-Mercedes||25|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||Dutch||Caterham-Renault||0|
Updated Constructor Standings
Here are the latest constructors' championship standings after the race (via official Formula 1 website):
|1||Red Bull Racing-Renault||312|
A return to form for Alonso and Ferrari after a disappointing run to the mid-season interval. Alonso expected to do better in a dry qualifying, but recovered in a way that suggests he'll be a win contender in most Grands Prix for the rest of the season.
Business as usual for the German. He dealt with the one man ahead of him on the track early, built up a lead and never gave it away. Untroubled from the front, it was the archetypal Vettel drive, and gave him a significant buffer in the title race as he marches towards a fourth title.
Their strongest showing at a race weekend in some time. Jenson Button ran in third place for a long portion of the race, and though he couldn't pull off a one-stop strategy, he finished sixth, and the fastest man on the track.
Only once since his return in 2012 has he not scored points, and not since 2009 had he failed to finish a race. But a brake failure put paid to his race, and his 27-race streak was broken, allowing Seb Vettel to pull away in style at the top of the championship.
Thought he'd put his tyre issues behind him, but Hamilton slid down from pole position and didn't look capable of competing with the front runners. Not a disastrous finishing position, but one which makes talk of re-emerging as a title contender look a little premature.
Sebastian Vettel was delighted with the result, but was given a mixed reception when he claimed victory in the Belgian Grand Prix from the Spa crowd:
More boos for Vettel on the podium. Becoming a regular occurrence now— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) August 25, 2013
There was some speculation that the boos were in relation to a Greenpeace protest which had been attempted during the race.
Maybe the boos were for the Greenpeace protestors. That's another possibility— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) August 25, 2013
More boos for Vettel and a cheer for Hamilton, not nice to hear even from a non-Vettel fan. It's not his fault he's brilliant. #F1— Grass Roots (@GrassRootsBlogg) August 25, 2013
Fernando Alonso seemed buoyed by the result and was already looking forward to the next race, set to take place at Ferrari's 'home' track in two weeks:
Alonso: "In Monza, we would like to give some smiles and some satisfaction to the Tifosi." #F1onNBC— F1® Racing on NBC (@F1onNBCSports) August 25, 2013
#BelgianGP Domenicali: "Very happy with Fernando,great race! We need to improve our race pace, mainly on Hard tyres. Championship still open— Scuderia Ferrari (@InsideFerrari) August 25, 2013