Jenson Button claimed his second win this year and 14th of his career yesterday when he drove to a comprehensive victory in an incident and accident-packed Belgian Grand Prix.
Starting from the eighth pole position of his career and his first for the McLaren team, the 32-year-old Briton produced a consummate display of dominant driving from start to finish. It was his first victory on the spectacular and historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
His victory was his first since the season-opening race in Australia and came in his 50th outing for McLaren and 220th overall as Formula One resumed after a month off for the traditional European summer break.
Button, the 2009 champion, came home 13.624 seconds ahead of second-placed defending champion German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull with Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus completing a podium of champions by coming home third.
Banned after crash
Championship leader Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari crashed out of the race at the first corner where he was he was an innocent victim of a multiple collision triggered by aggressive driving by Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus.
Grosjean swerved into Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren causing a pile-up that eliminated both drivers, along with Alonso and Mexican Sergio Perez of Sauber.
Grosjean was later given a one-race ban and fined 50,000 euros for causing the first corner crash that turned into a multi-car pile-up.
This gifted Red Bull men Vettel and Australian Mark Webber a perfect opportunity to close ground in the title race.
Webber finished sixth behind a dazzling display by German Nico Hulkenberg, who was fourth for Force India, and Brazilian Felipe Massa, of Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher, in his 300th Grand Prix and back at his favourite circuit where he made his debut in 1991, finished seventh for Mercedes ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and his Toro Rosso team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo with Briton Paul Di Resta taking the final point in 10th place in the second Force India.
Vettel’s opportunism saw him rise to second behind Alonso in the drivers’ standings with 140 points to the Spaniard’s 164.
Force India’s Nico finishes fourth
Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg matched the team’s second best ever performance here at the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix yesterday.
The German driver bagged 12 points finishing fourth.
Hulkenberg, who started the race in 12th position, reached third after a huge accident on the first corner of the first lap of the race involving McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi. All four were out of the race with immediate effect.
Hulkenberg’s teammate Paul di Resta finished 10th, clinching the last championship point.
Force India are currently placed seventh in the constructor's championship with 59 points.
Narain Karthikeyan, however, did not have luck on his side. The HRT driver spun out of the race in the 33rd lap when he was in a respectable 15th position.