McLaren driver Jenson Button converted his pole position into a win at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. The leader of the drivers’ standings, Fernando Alonso, was knocked out of the race by a crash in the first corner.
This was the first time that Alonso had failed to earn at least a single point in 24 races.
The defending champion, Germany's Sebastian Vettel, made the most of his 10th place in the starting grid, driving his Red Bull car to a second-place finish, while Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen of Renault came in third.
The second-place finish allowed Vettel, who won last year's Belgian race, to close the gap between himself and Alonso in the standings to 14 points.
This was the 14th win of Button's career and came in the British driver's 50th race for the McLaren team, which he joined in 2010.
German F1 legend Michael Schumacher, who was competing in his 300th Grand Prix weekend, finished seventh.
Another German, Nico Hulkenberg, finished a career-high fourth, to give his Force India team its best result of the season.
Just hours after the race, the driver deemed by race stewards to have caused the pile up at the first curve, Frenchman Romain Grosjean, was handed a 50,000-euro ($63,000) fine and a one-race ban.
Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela was given a 10-places grid penalty for next Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.The stewards penalized the Williams driver with five grid places for a false start and a further five for crashing into German driver Timo Glock.
pfd/jr (dpa, Reuters, AFP)