SPA, Belgium (AP) — While Sebastian Vettel silenced any doubters with a dominant win at the Belgian Grand Prix, the race encouraged Fernando Alonso to believe that he can still mount a title challenge with eight races remaining.

Alonso heads to Monza in two weeks' time with fresh optimism after an impressive second-place finish after starting ninth on the grid.

It was Alonso at his cavalier best, overtaking established Formula One drivers almost at will, and there was clearly an added zeal in the way he carved his way through the field.

The two-time former champion gave Ferrari a welcome boost following some disappointing races and an internal feud that threatened to disrupt the campaign — until Alonso wisely calmed things down with a public show of support for his team and its president.