Vettel stamps his authority at the Belgian Grand Prix 2013 It was a 31st career victory in formula 1 for Sebastian Vettel ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton who finished 2nd and 3rd to fill the remaining podium positions. Vettel drove to a near-to-perfection style of race where he hardly put a foot wrong. He led from the 2nd corner in the 1st lap when he overtook Lewis Hamilton with ease after slip streaming past him after a good exit from the first corner and almost casually strolled throughout the race without ever being seriously challenged for the lead. “Once I was past Lewis, I had incredible pace and could control the race. It’s a fantastic result,” said the three time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
It was a great start for Vettel and also Nico Rosberg who jumped into 3rd place at the start ahead of Jenson Button. The best start award certainly goes to Fernando Alonso who jumped all the way to 5th place from his starting grid position of 9th. Button himself jumped from 6th off the grid to 4th place resulting in the Force India driver Di Resta, who retired on lap 29 after being hit by the Williams of Pastor Maldonado at the Bus Stop chicane, and also Mark Webber to lose vital positions. One of the most interesting things in an otherwise not-so-eventful race was the actions of some Greenpeace protestors. Just before the start of the race, two paragliders from the activist group flew over the circuit, fluttering a banner slamming the Arctic drilling plans of race sponsors Shell. Another group of four men managed to make it to the main grandstand overlooking the grid after evading security, unfurled a banner from the roof that read: “ARCTIC OIL? SHELL NO”.
Kimi Raikonnen had a horrible start himself, losing two positions and going from 8th to 10th in the opening lap. His Lotus eventually developed brake problems forcing Kimi’s first retirement since his F1 comeback at around lap 27. This ended the 2007 Champion’s record run of 27 consecutive points finishes. There was no real competition for Sebastian Vettel during the entire race and that was when he figuratively strolled throughout the race. The speed of the Ferrari of Alonso was good enough to get him past the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg and one can only wonder had Alonso qualified somewhere up the order, say even 4th or 5th would things have been different but Alonso was never challenging for the win and Vettel in the end won comfortably finishing 17 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Alonso. The top 5 finishes for the race looked like – 1. Sebastian Vettel 2. Fernando Alonso 3. Lewis Hamilton 4. Nico Rosberg 5. Mark Webber Jenson Button finished 6th, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finishing seventh ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, with Adrian Sutil of Force India and Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso completing the final points positions. Retirements from the race included Charles Pic, Kimi Raikkonen and Paul di Resta. As a result of this victory Vettel has now extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 46 points. Alonso has finally started getting back into it, with Hamilton also climbing to third in the standings ahead of Raikkonen. The next race is the Italian Grand Prix on the 8th of September with Alonso having home advantage with Italy being like a home race for Ferrari, it’d be interesting to see how Red Bull and Mercedes manage to cope with Ferrari’s home advantage.