Motorsport — 31 August 2011
Vettel Wins Eventful Belgian Grand Prix

After 44 laps around the legendary Spa circuit, it was Sebastian Vettel who snatched victory, followed by Mark Webber in second place to further tighten the team’s grip on the World Championship title.

Having started from pole position with a breathtaking qualifying lap on Saturday, Vettel endured a wheel-to-wheel battle for the lead at the start of the race with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg. But with quick, consistent lap times combined with flawless teamwork in the pitstops, he managed to hold the lead to the flag. Mark Webber, who suffered a poor getaway at the start and lost a number of places, managed to claw his way back up the order to give the team another perfect finish.

Vettel said of his day’s work:

“I’m very happy; today was a very good race for us, although it was not easy with the tyres. The beginning of the race was more research and science than racing and we sacrificed a lot by stopping very early. We had a good feeling though and I came in again when the safety car came out, just to see how they were. I can judge a bit from looking at the inside, but when you’re doing 300kph or more and the tyres are always spinning rather than stopped, you can’t really take the time to see, so it was crucial to come in and have a closer look.

I’m very happy with the result. It’s a big relief after all the discussions we had going into the race. This morning disturbed our normal rhythm, as normally you know what you do when you arrive on Sunday morning, but today we had a lot of discussions which doesn’t make it easy to keep focused. Before the race, we decided the priority was simply to finish the race today and not think too much about where, so that’s why I am so happy with the result. It couldn’t have been any better. The car felt fantastic and with each lap we learned more and more about the tyres, which made us more confident to push when necessary.”

The result means both drivers still sit first and second in the championship standings, with Infiniti-backed Red Bull Racing leading the Constructors’ table by 131 points.

Drivers Championship Standings
1 S. Vettel 259 pts
2 M. Webber 167 pts
3 F. Alonso 157 pts
4 J. Button 149 pts 
5 L. Hamilton 146 pts 
6 F. Massa 74 pts 
7 N. Rosberg 56 pts 
8 M. Schumacher  42 pts
9 N. Heidfeld 34 pts
10 V. Petrov 34 pts
11 K. Kobayashi 27 pts 
12 A. Sutil 24 pts
13 S. Buemi 12 pts
14 J. Alguersuari 10 pts 
15 S. Perez 8 pts
16 P. di Resta 8 pts 
17 R. Barrichello 4 pts 
18 P. Maldonado 1 pts

Team Championship Standings 
1 Red Bull 426 pts
2 McLaren 295 pts
3 Ferrari 231 pts
4 Mercedes GP 98 pts 
5 Renault 68 pts
6 Sauber 35 pts
7 Force India 32 pts 
8 Toro Rosso 22 pts
9 Williams 5 pts

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