Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel cruised to victory in Spa this weekend, winning his 31st race. He overtook Lewis Hamilton just past Eau Rouge on the first lap to take an impressive, and clearly easy, win.
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Hamilton started the weekend on pole after the qualifying session was hampered by rain. Force India’s Paul di Resta produced a stunning wet lap but the rain cleared enough for both of the Mercedes and the Red Bull’s to outperform the Brit.
For the typically crash-filled Spa circuit the race seemed rather tame; there were certainly no major accidents that seem so characteristic of the track. The start was pulled off well by all and it was good to see Romain Grosjean able to make the first turn after his appalling start in the 2012 race.
There were few retirements; Di Resta was taken out by Pastor Maldonado after some fantastic racing and Kimi Räikkönen sadly ended his run of 38 consecutive finishes when he was forced to stop after experiencing brake issues.
Vettel on the other hand seemed at ease in Belgium, leading the entire race by a huge margin. There was never any doubt that the German would be caught.
Alonso finally had a strong race, finishing second on the podium. But despite his strong points finish he needs to beat the German on track if he is to grasp the world title.
For a few drivers the championship title remains within their sights but they desperately need to push harder and prevent Vettel from winning – if not we may well have a fourth consecutive champion on our hands.
Vettel has now extended his lead even further with 46 points between him and nearest competitor Alonso. Hamilton has moved up into third after Räikkönen failed to score any points.
With only eight Grand Prix’s left of the 2013 season, some serious bad luck will have to fall on Vettel if any of the other contenders can even consider becoming world champion.