SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) — For a brief moment, Lewis Hamilton feared he had lost the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Sebastian Vettel, on quicker tires with about 10 laps to go, drove up right alongside him on a long straight, and Hamilton thought “this might be it.”
But the British driver fended off his rival heading into the corner.
“It worked out perfect. It was great to go into Turn 5 having just done enough,” Hamilton said. “He was able to get way too close. It was only just enough to stay ahead.”
After that, Vettel never got another chance to pass Hamilton and conceded some ground in the title race.
Hamilton’s third Spa win helped him trim championship leader Vettel’s advantage over him to seven points, with eight races left in what is shaping up to be a nail-biting finish.
Hamilton’s fifth win this season was his 58th overall, having equaled Michael Schumacher’s pole position record of 68 in Saturday’s qualifying.
as too good,” Vettel said. “I was too close.”