Nico Rosberg wins Belgian Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton makes brilliant podium finish
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News August 28, 2016 Updated: 7:14 PM
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took an important step in keeping his championship hopes alive taking his 20th career victory at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Rosberg who started from pole, looked untouchable from the start as the opening laps of the race were filled with some dramatic moments.
“The stints on the medium tyres were really good and I felt really comfortable at the start on the softs too. Our car was really great today, so thank you to the team for all their hard work in getting it spot on. It’s great for the team that Lewis was able to recover to finish in third place, so overall a great result for us,” said Rosberg.
Rosberg managed to avoid the turn 1 chaos between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, as they went three-wide and made contact, taking each man out of contention. Verstappen’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo survived the madness and turned in a solid drive to second.
However, through the drama and chaos, Lewis Hamilton makes an incredible drive from the back of the grid to the final spot on the podium after incurring a huge grid penalty for engine changes.
“If you’d offered me third coming into this race with all the penalties I would definitely have taken it! I really wasn’t expecting that! As I said yesterday, I really didn’t know what would be possible today. But I came into the race with a positive mental attitude and it all came together. It was a steep mountain to climb – but we did it together as a team,” said Hamilton.
Renault's Kevin Magnussen survived a horrific crash on the exit of Eau Rouge in the opening laps. Magnussen limped away from the accident before going to the hospital.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg finished fourth, he just missed fighting for the podium after coming in for tires just before the red flag. Hulkenberg’s teammate Sergio Perez finished fifth to leap frog Force India ahead of Williams in the constructors' championship standings.
McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso, with a strong drive, finished the day sixth ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, and Bottas’ teammate Felipe Massa. Verstappen's difficult day saw him finish out of the points in 11th. Esteban Gutierrez also missed out on points as he finished 12th, ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean.
Daniil Kvyat started the second half of the season finishing 14th, with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer finishing 15th ahead of Manor’s Esteban Ocon, who finished 16th in his Formula One debut ahead of Sauber driver Felipe Nasr in 17th.