F1: 2013 Belgian GP

Result: Sebastian Vettel wins his 5th race of the season, followed by Alonso and Hamilton.

With less than two months to go for the third Indian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel– already a defending triple world champion- leads the standings by 46 points after 10 races. That is a massive gap, and seems more so when the quality of the cars that are chasing him are taken into consideration. Alonso, second-placed, is in an ailing Ferrari and is in constant battle with his own car to get maximum mileage out of it. To put things into perspective, his teammate Massa is less than half of his point tally (63 to 134).
 
 
Hamilton, the king of qualifying, cannot seem to convert more than one pole to a race win- and his 4th consecutive pole position did not become his second consecutive race win, something that he had not done for 3 years. Raikkonen, the most consistent driver in F1, will not remember this 2013 Belgian GP with fondness. His record streak of 27 consecutive races in the points was snapped with a brake failure after 26 laps. The Finn now finds himself 63 points behind Vettel, with his championship hopes effectively ended at Belgium.
 
 
With Hamilton hoping to leapfrog Alonso and Raikkonen into second place, the race was set to begin after a couple of bizarre airborne Greenpeace protests.
 
His dream lasted only half a lap, with Vettel overtaking him at the Eau Rouge and never looking back. Things became worse when the constantly underperforming Ferrari managed to overtake him later in the race, with Alonso enjoying a leap from 9th (qualifying) to 2nd in the race standings. That was the best the Spaniard could do, and his only hope of catching Vettel remained the possibility of a safety car after yet another Maldanado-induced crash. That never happened, and eventually, Alonso finished 17 seconds behind the marauding German- who has all but dominated the 2013 season. Even though he would have been pretty pleased with his race, Vettel extended his lead further in the standings, with only Hamilton really standing a realistic chance of challenging him because of Mercedes’ qualifying form.
 
 
Nico Rosberg finished fourth, strengthening Mercedes’ chances of finishing second in the Constructors standings behind the on-song Red Bull in Webber’s final season as an F1 driver.
 
The Aussie finished fifth at Belgium and a fourth consecutive constructors title would be an appropriate farewell gift for Webber, who has always been second best in his team, but one of the best second bests in the history of F1 (after Barrichello).
 
Next up in the 2013 calendar is Monza, one of the most famous races in the sport. It is also the circuit Vettel will remember with great pride, becoming the youngest ever F1 driver to win here back in 2008.

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