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Lewis Hamilton marks 200th race with victory in Belgium

Formula One - F1 - Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium - August 27, 2017 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton leads at the start of the race REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
Formula One - F1 - Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium - August 27, 2017 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton leads at the start of the race REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton celebrated his 200th Formula One race on Sunday with a pole-to-flag Belgian Grand Prix victory for Mercedes that halved Sebastian Vettel's championship lead to seven points.

The Briton's fifth success in 12 races came a day after he equalled Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 68 pole positions.

Vettel finished second for Ferrari, 2.3 seconds behind, after making a strong start and tailing the triple world champion all afternoon without being able to get close enough to make a move stick.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo took third place for Red Bull after a storming re-start following a late safety car period that had closed the gap to the frontrunners.

With eight races remaining, four-times champion Vettel has 220 points and Hamilton 213.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)

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