Championship leader Sebastian Vettel scored his 31st career victory with a dominant drive at Spa-Francorchamps.
This was Vettel and Red Bull Racing’s fifth win of the season and after taking the lead from pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap, the triple champion just drove off into the distance to take the flag first.
Fernando Alonso finished in an excellent second. The Ferrari driver carved his way through from ninth on the grid to the runner-up spot and crucially, ahead of pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.
As for Kimi Raikkonen, his record-breaking run of 27 consecutive points finishing ended with a brake problem.
It took less than half a lap for Sebastian Vettel to claim control of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s Mercedes had stayed ahead through an uneventful start, but Vettel attacked immediately and overtook on the run to Les Combes.
That was the last time his rivals saw the leading Red Bull, as the world champion alternated between cruising to protect his car and going flat out by scoring fastest laps to prove how much he had in hand.
Alonso’s confidence in Ferrari’s race pace proved well-founded as an aggressive first lap took him straight up to fifth place.
Jenson Button’s McLaren and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes were overtaken soon afterwards.
A later first pitstop brought Alonso right up behind Hamilton, who he then passed as the Mercedes slipped a touch wide at La Source.
Hamilton retaliated with DRS on the Kemmel Straight, yet Alonso was able to fend him off despite a vicious twitch under braking.
Button looked like he might have a say in the podium fight as he ran long and hinted at a one-stop strategy.
In the end he had to follow the two-stop trend, dropping him behind Hamilton, Rosberg and the slow-starting Mark Webber.
The Australian’s Red Bull showed great late pace having used hard tyres in the middle stint and softs at the end, the opposite strategy to most rivals, but ran out of speed when he came up behind the Mercedes.
Raikkonen looked set to finish adrift of this group even before a front brake issue forced him to retire his Lotus.
Felipe Massa resisted Romain Grosjean, the only successful one-stopper in the points, for seventh position.
Grosjean had an early brush with Sergio Perez in which the race stewards judged that the Lotus had been forced off the road at Les Combes.
That earned Perez a drive-through penalty, and with that late tyre wear on a one-stop, left the McLaren driver in P11 at the flag.
Qualifying sensation Paul di Resta faded from the start and was in a four-car battle outside the points when he was taken out at the Bus Stop by Pastor Maldonado.
Force India still scored some championship points thanks to Adrian Sutil’s ninth place.
Daniel Ricciardo overcame Toro Rosso’s qualifying miscue to come from P17 to tenth.
So not the most exciting Belgian Grand Prix, with Vettel taking the lead and disappearing into the distance. Formula 1 now heads to Monza, the final European race of the season. Can Ferrari strike back at their home track?
Belgian Grand Prix, after 44 laps:
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:23:42.196
2. Alonso Ferrari +16.869
3. Hamilton Mercedes +27.734
4. Rosberg Mercedes +29.872
5. Webber Red Bull-Renault +33.845
6. Button McLaren-Mercedes +40.794
7. Massa Ferrari +53.922
8. Grosjean Lotus-Renault +55.846
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1:09.547
10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1:13.470
11. Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1:21.936
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1:26.740
13. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1:28.258
14. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1:40.436
15. Bottas Williams-Renault +1:47.456
16. van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap
17. Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap
18. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
19. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
Fastest lap: Vettel 1m50.756s, set on lap 40.
Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 26 laps
Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 25 laps
Pic Caterham-Renault 8 laps
World Championship standings, round 11:
1. Vettel 197
2. Alonso 151
3. Hamilton 139
4. Raikkonen 134
5. Webber 115
6. Rosberg 96
7. Massa 67
8. Grosjean 53
9. Button 47
10. Di Resta 36
11. Sutil 25
12. Perez 18
13. Vergne 13
14. Ricciardo 12
15. Hulkenberg 7
16. Maldonado 1
1. Red Bull-Renault 312
2. Mercedes 235
3. Ferrari 218
4. Lotus-Renault 187
5. McLaren-Mercedes 65
6. Force India-Mercedes 61
7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 25
8. Sauber-Ferrari 7
9. Williams-Renault 1
Next race: Italian Grand Prix, Monza. September 6-8.