Briton Jenson Button has won the 2012 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, and in the process has earned himself and his McLaren team some much-needed championship points. The start of the race was marred by a crash that took out several of the top contenders, including points leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, who has shown impressive form following the summer break, suffered from a smoking engine at the start of the race and got bogged down as the lights went out. Then, at the first corner, Lotus’s Romain Grosjean ending up clipping Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren just to his right, with both drivers then losing control. Grosjean's Lotus then went over the top of Alonso and they all ended up parked at the first hairpin.  

Meanwhile, Pastor Maldonaldo had made a lightning start from the third row to go second in his Williams for a brief moment. He eventually spun at the exit to La Source. The safety car was called out, with the race order now consisting of Button up the front, followed by Lotus’ other driver Kimi Räikkönen and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who would eventually go on to score a career-best fourth place.  

With the safety car gone by lap five, Button drove a solid race, using a one-stop strategy to make the most of his pole advantage, and while there was plenty of action still taking place behind him the McLaren driver remained cool and went on to win the race. Another driver who was able to benefit from the crash was reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel. Also using a one-stop strategy, the Red Bull Racing driver would eventually claw his way to second place after tussling with Kimi Räikkönen who finished third.

Rounding out the top ten were Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo and Paul di Resta.

For their separate actions, Romain Grosjean will be sitting out next week’s Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza and pay a fine of 50,000 euros (approximately $62,900), while Pastor Maldonado has received a 10-place grid penalty for the race.

Despite not finishing the Belgian race, Fernando Alonso is still the current leader in the Drivers’ Championship with a tally of 164 points. Sebastian Vettel has now moved into second place with a total of 140 points, following by his Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber in third with 132 points.

In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 272 points, followed by McLaren on 218 points and Lotus in third with 207 points.

As mentioned, the Italian Grand Prix is just a week away, so stay tuned.