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Vettel powers to Belgium victory

SPA, Belgium (AP) — Defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel won the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday to strengthen his overall lead with seven races remaining.

Vettel started from the pole to win his seventh race of the season and 17th of his career. The German led Red Bull to a
1-2 finish with Mark Webber finishing close behind.

“I enjoyed every lap today. The car was fantastic to drive,” Vettel said. “If the car does what you want it to do, this place is really fun. It was a very entertaining race, with the strategy to come in early.”

Lewis Hamilton’s slim title hopes took a further blow when his McLaren crashed early on. Hamilton slipped to fifth in the standings. He is 113 points behind Vettel, who leads second-placed Webber by 92 points.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is third ahead of Jenson Button despite the Briton overtaking the Spaniard late in the race to take third place.

Twenty years after making his F1 debut on the same track, seven-time champion Michael Schumacher started from last place after crashing during the first lap of Saturday’s qualifying session. The 42-year-old German drove his Mercedes with style to finish in fifth place behind Alonso.

Button, coming off a victor yin Hungary, started 13th on the grid.


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