The Belgian Grand Prix 2016 at Spa Francorchamps was won by Nico Rosberg, but two other drivers stole the show. Lewis Hamilton made a surprise appearance at the podium, while youngster Max Verstappen had a wild race against the Ferraris.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg led the pack from pole position and cruised to an easy victory unchallenged. “It’s been great to get the win on a special track, a legendary track, but Lewis starting at the back made it easier,” said Rosberg, according to the New York Times.
Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg’s teammate and main championship rival, needed to start from the 21st position. He ended up there after serving a grid penalty acquired due to exceeding the maximum number of engines allowed. The setback sent him all the way to the back of the grid. However, as early as the 10th lap, Hamilton was already in 5th place.
Hamilton managed to charge up the grid, thanks to his superior car and a large number of mishaps from further up the pack. Right from the first corner, Max Verstappen and the two Ferraris found themselves in a tangle.
Verstappen’s Red Bull started from second place, but was immediately challenged by Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel’s Ferraris. Unfortunately for all three of them, Vettel nudged Raikkonen straight into Verstappen. All three drivers ended up in the pits for some major repairs. Raikkonen even had a flare up and a busted tire.
Kevin Magnussen ended up on the tire barrier in lap 6 and his Renault damaged the barrier enough to require a red flag. Repairs were made before the race was allowed to resume.
Hamilton continued to fight his way up to the podium and managed to gain third place. This secures his lead at the top of the Driver’s championship standings. However, with Rosberg’s win, the gap between the teammates is now down to only 9 points.
Verstappen and Raikkonen continued to fight aggressively against each other as they languished at the back of the grid. They continued their battle even after the race. According to the Straits Times, Verstappen accused the Ferrari drivers of “squeezing” him, while Raikkonen criticized him for his aggressive driving style.