The British Mercedes driver converts pole position into victory after equalling Michael Schumacher’s career record
LEWIS HAMILTON slashed Sebastian Vettel’s lead in the F1 drivers’ championship to just seven points after his victory in the Belgian Grand Prix.
In an uneventful race, Hamilton, who started on pole, saw off a late challenge from Vettel to seal his 58th F1 victory in his 200th race.
Hamilton made a good start along with Vettel as all 20 cars somehow completed the first lap, although there was a coming together between the Force India duo of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez.
The two had another clash on lap 29 and will no doubt spark another war of words, and a ticking off from their bosses.
Perez came off worse, sending debris across the track as he limped back to the pits with a rear right puncture.
The incident meant the safety car was deploy, much to Hamilton’s frustration as he labelled it a “BS (bull s***) decision stewards”.
The action restarted on lap 34 as Vettel tried to pounce but Hamilton took defensive action to hold his lead.
And, with 10 laps remaining held on to clinch first place ahead of Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was third.
But there was more misery for Ricciardo’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who was forced to retire on lap eight.
The Ducthman was roared on by thousands of fans dressed in orange but there was nothing they could do as he pulled over with his sixth DNF of the season.
Unhappy Fernando Alonso also went for an early bath for the seventh time in 2017 as he retired his McLaren on lap 27.
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