Hamilton cruises to dream win in Belgium
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position to stretch his lead over Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to 28 points with eight races remaining. Rosberg finished 2.0 seconds behind the Briton, in a dry race despite teams anxiously studying weather maps for approaching rain in the final stages, to complete Mercedes' seventh one-two in 11 races. "Today was a dream and the car was fantastic all weekend," declared Hamilton, who controlled the race from the opening lap -- after an aborted first start -- and never looked threatened by his German rival.
"I was never in a position where I felt nervous, I had great pace in the car. There was no real need to push more than I had to," he added. The two collided at Spa last year, with Hamilton having to retire, but the risk of that happening again receded when Rosberg made a slow getaway off the front row. "I just completely messed up the start," said the German, who had hoped to capitalize on changed starting procedures that leave more to the driver and prevent engineers from helping remotely. France's Romain Grosjean took an emotional third place for Lotus after Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, in his 150th race and the team's 900th, suffered a right rear tire blowout on the penultimate lap.
"It was probably one of my best races ever," said the Frenchman, back on the podium for the first time since 2013 in a boost for a financially-troubled team who arrived in Spa with the threat of having their cars impounded hanging over them. The double champion has 227 points to Rosberg's 199 and Sunday was also his 80th podium appearance, equaling the achievement of boyhood hero and late triple world champion Ayrton Senna.