Race: Rosberg wins at Spa, P3 for Hamilton


Aside from an unchallenged race leader, and eventual race winner, in Nico Rosberg, the Belgian Grand Prix delivered excitement from start to finish including a P3 for Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg set the early pace at the 44-lap grand prix as he escaped the carnage that took out several drivers on the opening lap – including Jenson Button – and damaged the cars of the others – including Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

He was comfortably ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo when the race was red-flagged on Lap 10 after a high-speed crash for Kevin Magnussen.

The Renault driver lost it on Lap 8 at the top of Eau Rouge as he over-corrected for a spin and slammed into the tyre wall.

Magnussen has transported to a local hospital with Renault reporting: “He has a small cut to the left ankle and has been escorted to a nearby hospital for further routine checks.”

The impact destroyed both his RS16 and the tyre wall, which brought out the Safety Car. But after two laps it was clear that the tyre wall was not a quick-fix and the race was red flagged.

Rosberg saw his advantage over the field completely negated while Hamilton, who was 50s behind his team-mate, found himself up into fifth place as some of those ahead of the Brit had pitted under the Safety Car.

The race restarted behind the Safety Car with Rosberg swapping to new mediums, Alonso and Hamilton to new softs.

Hamilton put his tyres to great use as he overtook Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg to run P3. Two pit stops later, three in total, he was still third and struggling to catch the two-stopping Rosberg and Ricciardo.

Rosberg raced to the victory, his sixth of this season, while Ricciardo held on for second place ahead of Hamilton. The result means the World Champion’s lead has been cut from 19 to nine points.

Nico Hulkenberg was fourth ahead of his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez.

Spa hopefuls Vettel, Raikkonen and Verstappen all found their races undone at the first corner.

Verstappen dived up the inside of Raikkonen, however, with the Finn’s team-mate on his outside, he could not move over. The two made contract with Vettel caught out in it.

All three had to pit for repairs with Raikkonen’s stop exceptionally long as the bargeboard under his SF16-H caught fire. Verstappen blamed Vettel, saying the German “just turned in.”

They finished P6, P9 and P11 respectively.

There were also points for Fernando Alonso, P7, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, eighth and tenth for Williams.

Carnage on the opening lap meant a retirement for Pascal Wehrlein, who hit Jenson Button from behind. The Brit made it into the pits but parked his McLaren while Carlos Sainz’s right rear tyre was shredded, breaking his rear wing.

1  Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1:44’51.058
2  Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull +14.113
3  Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes +27.634
4  Nico Hulkenberg  Force India +35.907
5  Sergio Perez  Force India +40.660
6  Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari +45.394
7  Fernando Alonso  McLaren +59.445
8  Valtteri Bottas  Williams +1’00.151
9  Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari +1’01.109
10  Felipe Massa  Williams +1’05.873
11  Max Verstappen  Red Bull +1’11.138
12  Esteban Gutierrez  Haas +1’13.877
13  Romain Grosjean  Haas +1’16.474
14  Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso +1’27.097
15  Jolyon Palmer  Renault +1’33.165
16  Esteban Ocon  Manor +1 Lap
17  Felipe Nasr  Sauber +1 Lap
Did Not Finish
Kevin Magnussen  Renault crash
Marcus Ericsson  Sauber technical
Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso tyre failure
Jenson Button  McLaren crash
Pascal Wehrlein  Manor crash