Rosberg wins Belgian GP as Lewis Hamilton roars to third

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg wins Belgian GP to cut Lewis Hamilton’s title lead to nine points

28 August 2016, 4:51pm
Nico Rosberg won the Belgian Grand Prix, cutting Lewis Hamilton’s title lead to nine points after his Mercedes team-mate roared back to claim third place.

Both Mercedes drivers had genuine reason to celebrate with Rosberg winning the race with an incident-free pole to flag victory. Hamilton, on the other hand, successfully navigated his Mercedes car from 21st to third to only lose ten points to his team-mate and solitary title rival.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo drove a solid and considered race to take second, having won in Belgium in 2014.

Hamilton led the title race by 19 points going into the race but after fitting three new engines, he took penalty places that saw begin the race second from last. He has maintained his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship, which now stands at 10 points.

Hamilton’s damage limitation operation was substantially abetted by a first-lap collision that effectively took Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen out of contention for a podium finish along with five retirements across an unruly opening half-dozen laps followed by a 20-minute stoppage after a horror crash for Renault's Kevin Magnussen.

Magnussen was taken to hospital with an ankle injury following the 180mph smash at Eau Rouge.

Nico Hulkenberg equalled his best-ever result in F1 by taking fourth ahead of Force India team-mate Sergio Perez and Vettel while McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who started alongside Hamilton on the back row, produced the drive of the drive to fight to seventh.

Alonso’s team-mate Jenson Button etired with a mechanical problem after just one lap, having been hit from behind by the Manor of Pascal Wehrlein at turn six. The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were in sixth and ninth with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa rounding out the top 10 in eighth and tenth.

Although both Williams drivers finished in the points, the team have now slipped behind Force India in the Constructors’ Championship.