Given how disastrous the tyre wear was going for several of the teams as the race approached its conclusion, it was all the more amazing that Button and Vettel were sailing serenely on at the front without a care in the world. True, Vettel was unable to do anything about Button's lead, but at the same time he had pulled out an equally massive lead over Raikkonen in third place and showed none of the drop off in performance that had beset Schumacher and the others.
Button almost had time to stop for afternoon team as he rounded Blanchimont for the final time and found the chequered flag flying for him, his first career victory at the historic Spa-Francorchamps in F1. It's a huge fillip for him in the 2012 drivers' championship, but the man with an even bigger boost in the title race was Sebastian Vettel cruising home in second place with Raikkonen holding off a looming Hulkenberg for the final podium position making it a hat-trick of world champions on display.
The dramatic start might have ended many a driver's hopes for the weekend; but for Button himself it had surely gone even better than he could have dared dream - and deservedly so, after a flawless afternoon's work saw him lead the Belgian Grand Prix from lights to flag without a single interruption. Fittingly historic stuff for such a historic circuit, which had once again delivered the goods in terms of an afternoon's entertainment.