Button dominates dramatic Belgian GP

    The British driver dominated the race which began with a huge startline crash eliminating Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

    Published On Sep 03, 2012 01:23:00 AM


    Button dominates dramatic Belgian GP

    Jenson Button dominated a Belgian Grand Prix that began with a huge startline crashin which title contenders Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were eliminated.

    With Sebastian Vettel coming through to finish second, the incident meant Alonso saw his championship lead slashed to 24 points.

    The accident started when Lotus driver Romain Grosjean moved across the track on the approach to La Source and squeezed Hamilton's McLaren.

    The two made contact and ploughed into the cars ahead in dramatic fashion. Alonso and Sergio Perez were also eliminated, while slow-starting front-row man Kamui Kobayashi and Pastor Maldonado (who jumped the start) both picked up damage.

    The latter pair rejoined, but Maldonado was soon out following a restart clash with Timo Glock's Marussia.

    The accident totally reshuffled the race order, with Button leading Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus, Force India duo Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta, Michael Schumacher's Mercedes and Toro Rosso pair Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

    The Red Bulls were delayed in the chaos, leaving Mark Webber in eighth and Vettel 12th.

    Button charged away from the outset, making a one-stop race work to perfection as he followed up his maiden McLaren pole with his first win since the season-opener in Australia.

    Raikkonen lacked pace early on and was overtaken by Hulkenberg and Schumacher.

    An early first stop helped the Lotus regain ground, but the best strategy appeared to be to pit once. A combination of that tactic and several early passing moves helped Vettel emerge in a clear second place.

    Schumacher also tried to pit once, but found himself under big pressure from two-stoppers Raikkonen and Hulkenberg.

    This led to some spectacular racing, including Raikkonen overtaking Schumacher around the outside into Eau Rouge, as the seven-time champion twice managed to fight back past his rivals using DRS. Eventually he had to admit defeat and pit again.

    By then Raikkonen was long gone and heading for the final podium spot, ahead of Hulkenberg, Ferrari's Felipe Massa, and Webber.

    Schumacher salvaged seventh, as the Toro Rossos and di Resta fell back to the tail of the top 10.

    Nico Rosberg and Bruno Senna also had to make late tyre stops, leaving them outside the points.

    Caterham briefly looked like it might achieve an upset as Heikki Kovalainen emerged in 10th on lap one. But he soon fell back and would later have two spins and a pitlane clash with Narain Karthikeyan.



    The Belgian Grand Prix
    Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium;
    44 laps; 308.052km;
    Weather: Sunny.
    Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
     1.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           1h29:08.530
     2.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +    13.624
     3.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    25.334
     4.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    27.843
     5.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    29.845
     6.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    31.244
     7.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    53.374
     8.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    58.865
     9.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:02.982
    10.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +  1:03.783
    11.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +  1:05.111
    12.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +  1:11.529
    13.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:56.119
    14.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
    15.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
    16.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
    17.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
    18.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
    Fastest lap: Senna, 1:52.822
    Not classified/retirements:
    Driver        Team                         On lap
    Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth                 30
    Maldonado     Williams-Renault             5
    Perez         Sauber-Ferrari               1
    Alonso        Ferrari                      1
    Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes             1
    Grosjean      Lotus-Renault                1
    World Championship standings, round 12:
    Drivers:                    Constructors:             
     1.  Alonso       164        1.  Red Bull-Renault          272
     2.  Vettel       140        2.  McLaren-Mercedes          218
     3.  Webber       132        3.  Lotus-Renault             207
     4.  Raikkonen    131        4.  Ferrari                   199
     5.  Hamilton     117        5.  Mercedes                  112
     6.  Button       101        6.  Sauber-Ferrari             80
     7.  Rosberg       77        7.  Force India-Mercedes       59
     8.  Grosjean      76        8.  Williams-Renault           53
     9.  Perez         47        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         12
    10.  Schumacher    35
    11.  Massa         35
    12.  Kobayashi     33
    13.  Hulkenberg    31
    14.  Maldonado     29
    15.  Di Resta      28
    16.  Senna         24
    17.  Vergne         8
    18.  Ricciardo      4

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