FRANCHORCHAMPS, Belgium — The Belgian Grand Prix was all Sebastian Vettel.
The three-time defending Formula One world champion passed polesitter Lewis Hamilton on the first lap and kept his Red Bull machine out front the remainder of the distance to post his fifth victory of the season and extend his point lead.
It was Vettel’s 31st F-1 victory in his 112th start.
“It was a fantastic race for us from start to finish,” Vettel said. “We have very good tactics and once we passed Lewis, we had incredible pace and we were able to control the pace. It was a fantastic result. It could not have been any better.”
Fernando Alonso made an impressive drive from ninth in his Ferrari to finish second.
“We were not that good yesterday, but today everything went good from the start and we were able to pass some cars and get to second place,” Alonso said. “We had nowhere near the pace that Sebastian had today.”
Hamilton brought his Mercedes home third with Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber rounding out the top five.
Hamilton’s podium was his 54th, tying him with Nicki Lauda on the all-time list.
Kimi Raikkonen, who entered the race second in the standings, experienced a brake failure in his Lotus and failed to finish a grand prix for the first time in 38 events.
Vettel leads Alonso by 46 points in the standings.