Vettel: Dry race made things easier

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Sebastian Vettel is pleased that the predicted rain showers did not hit Spa-Francorchamps during the Belgian Grand Prix today, allowing the German driver to dominate the race and win by over twelve seconds.

Rain had marred qualifying yesterday, and the FIA predicted before the race that there was a 60% chance of a shower hitting the circuit. However, it turned out to be a bone dry race that Vettel won with relative ease.

Speaking on the podium after the race, Vettel said: “It was a fantastic race for us. From start to finish, very good tactics and it helped on the first lap to have the tow off Lewis [Hamilton].

“I really enjoyed that a lot, I think the guys on the pit wall did as well. Fortunately there was no rain, so no critical calls to make.”

Vettel had qualified P2 for the race, and despite failing to pass pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton into the tight turn one, the German driver managed to get a tow off the back of the Mercedes heading along the Kemmel Straight, making the pass stick through Les Combes. After that, the defending world champion never looked back. The gap quickly widened and even after losing some time in the pits at his first stop, Vettel was always in control, so much so that he could even set the fastest lap of the race on lap forty.

However, Vettel’s blistering pace gave cause for concern at Red Bull, with engineer Guillaume Rocquelin telling him to ease off during the final stages of the race for fear of throwing away an almost-certain victory.

The win sees Vettel extend his lead in the championship to forty-six points over Fernando Alonso, and the pace of the Red Bull car suggests that it will take a remarkable turnaround to prevent the German driver from winning a fourth consecutive drivers’ championship in 2013.

Dakar Rally video highlights from the concluding Stage 14

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The 40th Dakar Rally is now history.

Nearly 550 competitors began the early 5,600-mile long race 15 days ago and concluded Saturday.

As we’ve done throughout the Rally, here are some key video highlights from NBCSN’s coverage of the Rally:

TRUCKS

CARS

QUADS

 

MOTORCYCLES