Vettel wins in Belgium to rein in Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton said Ferrari had "trick things going on" with their auto after Sebastian Vettel won Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix but emphasised he was not accusing his Formula One rivals of doing anything illegal.

After overtaking Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race and then holding him off after a Safety Car restart, Vettel says an upgraded power unit introduced this weekend had a major role in his win. "I don't know what's on their vehicle, so I couldn't say (if it is illegal or legal) either way".

Hamilton fears Ferrari has speed Mercedes is unable to match, which could play into Ferrari's hands in Monza and in the following race at the Singapore GP _ which is another quick track.

Esteban Ocon took third place for the re-born Force India team, under new ownership, ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean of Haas, their teams taking a positive view of the conditions and timing their tyre-changes perfectly. Hamilton's final chance came during the round of pit stops when he sought to undercut the Ferrari.

"Going through traffic, I was fortunate I didn't lose much time".

"Yesterday was a bit of a amusing ending to qualifying with the conditions but nevertheless I think we got ourselves in a position to fight for today and that's what we did", Vettel said.

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They didn't have the pace at the end of the race to keep a charging Valtteri Bottas behind as the Finn moved up the order throughout the race to claim fourth, with Perez leading Ocon over the finish line in fifth and sixth.

The heavy crash at the start happened when Hulkenberg bumped into the back of Alonso, sending Alonso's McLaren spinning and then flying up in the air.

On Saturday, Hamilton took advantage of a rain shower in qualifying to secure the front slot on the grid, but Vettel won the race by moving past his rival in the opening exchanges.

Television close-up images after the race showed the structure heavily marked by the impact."The Halo was a very good thing to have today". It's really about balance of circumstances and compromises and maybe Seb, as he said, he'd got a battery problem, or something like that.

Up ahead, his teammate led Hamilton by 3.5 seconds at the halfway stage, when Hamilton pitted for new tires. At the restart four laps later, Vettel surged forward with Hamilton being a close second.

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