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Sebastian Vettel wins Belgian Formula One Grand Prix

German Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel has won Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. It is the fifth win of the season for Vettel and brings him closer to a fourth successive Formula One world crown.

Red Bull driver Vettel (pictured above driving in the race) took the chequered flag at Spa Francorchamps 16.869 seconds in front of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso from Spain.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton from Britain, whom Vettel overtook on the first lap, came in third.

The win means that Vettel extends his lead in the drivers' championship to 46 points over Alonso. Vettel now has 197 points, with Alonso on 151, Hamilton on 139, and Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen - who failed to finish Sunday's race because of a brake problem - on 134, a drop from second place going into the race.

Vettel was already some eight seconds up on Alonso by the half way mark and continued to extend his lead over the rest of the race.

Vettel has been world champion three times, and this, his fifth win of the season, means a fourth world title is well within the 26-year-old's grasp.

tj/hc (AFP, dpa)