Button dominates at Spa
Britain’s Jenson Button was dominant as he won the Belgium Grand Prix, at Spa, with McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso crashing out.
Hamilton and Alonso were taken out at the start of the race, in a multi-car crash caused by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.
Button, who started on pole, was never challenged as reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel weaved his way from 10th to second, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.
Grosjean was handed a one-race ban, for causing the accident and is the first driver to be banned since Michael Schumacher in 1994.
Vettel’s second place leaves him trailing title race leader Alonso by 24 points. Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber is third.
Button’s victory leaves him sixth, with a slim chance of the Championship as he stands 63 points behind Alonso with 200 still in be won.
The Brit led at the first corner and was never troubled as he won the notorious Spa race for the first time.
He managed to stay clear of the drama at the start, as the right rear wheel of Grosjean’s car hit Hamilton’s McLaren left front which created chaos on the track.
As advancing drivers braked, Hamilton and Grosjean’s cars took out Alonso, with the Lotus flying over the front of the Ferrari, within metres of the Spaniards head.
Sauber’s Sergio Perez was also caused to retire after the teams strongest qualifying display in history.
The safety car was sent out onto the circuit to allow debris to be cleared.
The race eventually restarted on lap five with Vettel showing his championship credentials as he moved through the field on a one-stop strategy.
Vettel’s pace guaranteed he took second as Raikkonen and the other drivers on two-
stop strategies made their final stops.
Raikkonen was stuck behind the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher, who was slow around the lap but very fast in a straight line.
Once Raikkonen had passed the seven-time champion he briefly closed on Vettel but, realising he did not have enough laps to make up a 13-second deficit, was forced to settle for third.
Pastor Maldonado was once again at the centre of attention.
After failing to finish in his Williams, he was given a five-place grid penalty for jumping the start and another for colliding with Timo Glock’s Marussia.
Both punishments will be applied in next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.