Austria's Niki Lauda strengthened his iron grip on this year's world motor racing championship with an easy win in the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday (16 May).
GV PAN Crowd watch start of 1976 Grand Prix (2 shots)
GV Ferraris streak away from pack (2 shots)
MV Niki lauda in Ferrari through bends and away
MV Lauda leads team mate Regazzoni and Lafitte in Matra through chicanes watched by crowd (2 shots)
MV Ferraris led the field(3 shots)
Lauda leading the field and watched by crowds(4 shots)
MV Lauda on last and winning lap (2 shots)
Initials BB/1935 DE/DK/BB/1750
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: Austria's Niki Lauda strengthened his iron grip on this year's world motor racing championship with an easy win in the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday (16 May).
Lauda led from start to finish to confirm his Ferrari team's new superiority in the sport. Ferrari has now taken all five of this year's races and it was 27-year-old Lauda's fourth victory this year, including the Madrid race two weeks ago in which Britain's James Hunt took the chequered flag, but was disqualified for technical reasons after his car was found to be half an inch (1.25 centimetres) too wide.
Lauda's team-mate, 37-year-old Swiss Clay Regazzoni finished second, a position he held from the seventh lap when he overtook Hunt's McLaren.
Hunt never looked a threat to Lauda, and after Regazzoni passed him he slipped back to fifth place before retiring half way through the race with serious mechanical problems.
Lauda, who finished more than three seconds ahead of Regazoni, with an average speed of 173.980 kph (108.106 mph), was deservedly pleased with his performance.
After the first few laps, the race for minor placings was between Frenchmen Jacques Laffite in the Matra Ligier, Hunt and Tyrell Elf driver, Patrick Depaller.
Laffite took third position and South African Jody Scheckter was fourth in another Tyrrell Elf.
Fewer than half the care completed the race around the 4.12 kilometre (2.55 miles) circuit and some team engineers complained afterwards that the surface of the corners were not as smooth as they should have been.