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Lewis Hamilton wins Belgian Grand Prix to extend F1 lead over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg

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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday from pole, holding off Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and padding his lead in the Formula One championship standings.

The defending champion was two seconds ahead at the finish line for his sixth victory of the season in 11 races.

"An amazing weekend," Hamilton said. "I had great pace in the car. I was cautious at the end because of tires but I brought it home."

Hamilton's 80th podium pulled him level with the late F1 ace Ayrton Senna in fourth on the all-time list. Rosberg has 36, level with two-time champion Graham Hill.

Rosberg had a poor start and dropped from second to fourth before regaining the second position.

PHOTO: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with the trophy on the podium winning the Belgium Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with the trophy on the podium winning the Belgium Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

"I completely messed up the start," Rosberg said. "I tried everything but Lewis knew how to react."

The two Mercedes cars were dominant throughout the race, unlike the previous Grand Prix in Hungary three weeks ago when they failed to make the podium.

Hamilton's 39th career victory gave him a 28-point lead over Rosberg in the drivers' standings, with eight races remaining.

Romain Grosjean drove his Lotus to third place, taking advantage of a late puncture for Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel had been told by his team that the tires looked good to the end but his rear right one blew out in the penultimate lap.

Grosjean made his first podium since finishing second in the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas in 2013. He was banned for one race after being blamed for causing a multi-car crash at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix in 2012.

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PHOTO: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain gestures on the podium avert winning the Belgium Formula One Grand Prix, at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015.  (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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