August 25th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Sebastian Vettel passed Lewis Hamilton for the lead of the Belgian Grand Prix on the very first lap, and led every lap until the finish of the race. The rest of the field had no answer to the pace of the World Champion in the Red Bull, although Fernando Alonso did his best to challenge in a much improved Ferrari. Alonso finished second, ahead of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in third.
Throughout the weekend, it has been expected that there would be rain during the race. But this afternoon the rain failed to materialise, which gave Vettel the smooth, controlled race he wanted at the front. Despite the lack of changing weather, the race was exciting and action-packed from start to finish, with plenty of overtaking in various parts of the circuit.
Fernando Alonso regained his second place in the Drivers' Championship by finishing second at Spa today. He is in serious need of a win, which has eluded him since the Spanish Grand Prix in May. Although second place is a strong result, the gap to championship leader Vettel has increased to 46 points after this race.
Alonso's race was typically aggressive and determined. He made his way through from ninth on the grid to second in the first half of the race, and stayed there until the chequered flag. On the podium, Alonso appeared quite subdued, clearly not satisfied with second place despite producing an impressive drive.
Lewis Hamilton made a decent start from pole position, but did not have the pace on the opening lap to keep Vettel behind him. But Hamilton managed his pace through the race, losing position only to Alonso over the course of the rest of the race. In the end, Hamilton held on to third place ahead of his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, and the second Red Bull of Mark Webber.
Jenson Button scored a strong sixth place finish for McLaren, ahead of Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari and Romain Grosjean in the sole remaining Lotus. Kimi Raikkonen retired on lap 25 due to brake failure on his Lotus after driving an attacking race up to that point.
Adrian Sutil finished ninth for Force India with Daniel Ricciardo tenth for Toro Rosso after a fighting drive from 19th on the grid.
The major incident of the race occurred when Pastor Maldonado found himself fighting with a Sauber and both Force Indias. Maldonado attacked the Sauber ahead, but couldn't make the move stick into the chicane. Adrian Sutil took the chance presented and passed Maldonado round the outside of the second part of the chicane, but clipped Maldonado's front wing along the way.
Maldonado appeared to steer to the right, as though aiming for the pit entry, but simply drove straight into the path of the second Force India of Paul Di Resta. In the ensuing collision, Di Resta's rear suspension was destroyed, which ended his race. Maldonado continued, pitting for a new nose and tyres, but eventually finished a lap down in 17th place.
After an impressive qualifying session yesterday, Giedo van der Garde and the Marussia pair of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton went backwards early in the race, ending up right at the back of the field. Van der Garde finished just ahead of Maldonado, after Maldonado's incident, with Bianchi and Chilton bringing up the rear of the field.