Hamilton Takes Belgian GP, Drivers Championship Lead

Lewis Hamilton of McLaren bucked an almost-costly mistake to win the Belgian GP on Sunday over drivers championship rival Mark Webber of Red Bull and take a three-point lead going into the last six races of the F1 season.

Hamilton took advantage of a faulty start by pole-setter Webber to take the lead right at the beginning of the race on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Hamilton’s lead appeared safe throughout the race, except in the 35th lap, when the 2008 champion span off the track and into the gravel. However, a quick tire change allowed Hamilton to restore order and insure the win.

Webber, who fell to fifth place in the first lap but climbed back with the help of several crashes and rain delays, finished 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton, while Renault’s Robert Kubica settled for third place. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished in fourth place followed by Adrian Sutil and Mercedes team mates Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, in that order.

Title contenders Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull (15th), McLaren’s Jenson Button (retired), and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari (retired) failed to get any points, allowing Hamilton and Webber to get some breathing room. Hamilton now has 182 points, just three points ahead of Webber, but 31 points clear of third-placer Vettel.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.