By Alan Davies, Formula One correspondent
Sunday, September 2, 2012
FORMULA One driver Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix on the opening lap as McLaren teammate Jenson Button took the chequered flag at Spa.
There were contrasting fortunes for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racers at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
Hamilton, starting seventh on the grid, was involved in a multiple pile-up on the run down to turn one on the first lap.
He was squeezed out by Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, triggering a spectacular crash that also took out the Ferrari of F1 world championship leader Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez’s Sauber.
Following that dramatic accident and subsequent safety car period, pole-sitter Button coasted to victory in his 50th grand prix for McLaren, leading from lights to flag.
Provisional result from Spa
1 Jenson Button (McLaren)
2 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
4 Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
5 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
6 Mark Webber (Red Bull)
7 Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
8 Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
10 Paul di Resta (Force India)
He controlled the race with a dominant display from the front of the field to take his second victory of the 2012 F1 season and 14th of his career.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel finished second for Red Bull, some 13.6 seconds behind Button, with Kimi Raikkonen taking the third step on the Spa podium for Lotus.
Nico Hulkenberg was fourth in the provisional results for Force India and Felipe Massa fifth for Ferrari.
Mark Webber finished sixth for Red Bull with Michael Schumacher seventh in the Mercedes ahead of the two Toro Rosso cars.
2012 standings after Belgian GP
1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 164
2 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 140
3 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 132
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 131
5 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 117
6 Jenson Button (McLaren) 101
7 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 77
The F1 circus heads to Monza next weekend.