Sebastian Vettel cruised to victory at the Belgian Grand Prix and cemented his huge lead at the top of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship.
The reigning world champion recovered from a poor start – which saw him overtaken by Nico Rosberg after the fist corner – and problems with blistering tyres to ride his luck and emerge on top ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber in a memorable one-two triumph.
Vettel came home 3.7 seconds clear of Australian Webber, who dropped back after a bad start and then recovered, with Briton Jenson Button claiming third for McLaren.
Spain’s two time champion Fernando Alonso finished fourth for Ferrari ahead of German Michael Schumacher, 42, the seven-times champion marking the 20th anniversary of his F1 debut with a dazzling drive into the points from the back of the grid.
Schumacher’s Mercedes team-mate and fellow-German Nico Rosberg came sixth ahead of another German, Adrian Sutil of Force India, with Russian Vitaly Petrov eighth for Renault.
Brazilian Felipe Massa was ninth for Ferrari and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, who started 21st after a grid penalty for crashing into Briton Lewis Hamilton during Saturday’s qualifying, finishing 10th for Williams.
Hamilton, of McLaren, crashed out of the race after 13 laps when he was involved in a collision with Japanese Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber.
Vettel’s win was his seventh of the season and 17th of his career, and it moved him up to 234 points, 67 clear of Webber with Alonso on 157 points in third, eight ahead of fourth-placed Button.