Formula 1 2016 results: Nico Rosberg of Mercedes wins Belgian Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg went from pole position to victory in the Belgian Grand Prix from the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday. The Mercedes driver entered the race in second place in the Drivers’ Championship, with teammate Lewis Hamilton ahead of him in the standings but starting from the back of the grid due to penalties.
Hamilton, though, managed to avoid a cluster of crashes and errors in the early going of the race, and wound up not only making his way into the points, but onto the podium to limit the damage of a 55-place grid penalty. Hamilton finished in third place, behind Rosberg in first and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull in second.
Ricciardo started the race in fifth, with teammate Max Verstappen starting second on the grid and the two Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen splitting the two. Ricciardo, though, managed to avoid a first corner crash that took out both Ferraris and Verstappen.
The start of the race saw Verstappen get a bad start, letting both Räikkönen and Vettel ahead of him. But Verstappen tried to dive down the inside of the first corner, pushing Räikkönen wide, who in turn pushed Vettel wide. Vettel collided with his teammate, damaging both cars, and a bit of debris went into Verstappen’s car as well.
This caused Räikkönen to pit, and it was a very long pit as they tried to fix his front wing. Verstappen also pitted, and rather than sit at the front of the grid, the three pack ended up near the back. Red Bull and Ferrari have enough trouble as it is tries to beat Mercedes, so this certainly didn’t help their cause.
Carlos Sainz also crashed on the opening lap, and not long after, Pascal Wehrlein of Manor hit the back of Jenson Button of McLaren, who maybe hit his brakes a little hard in front of him.
That put both Wehrlein and Button out of the race. On the sixth lap, Kevin Magnussen of Renault lost control around a corner and slammed into the barriers with the back of his car, ending his race. At that point, Hamilton was in 10th place, despite his talk before the race that he would have troubles moving up into the points after a 55-place grid penalty had him starting at the back of the pack.
And all it took was several crashes, multiple safety cars and pure madness to accomplish the feat!
At that stage of the race, Rosberg was in first place and both of the American-owned Haas cars — Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez — were in the points. Magnussen’s crash resulted in a slew of pit stops and after all of it, Rosberg, Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg occupied the top three spots, with Fernando Alonso of McLaren in fourth and Hamilton in fifth., as both of them did not pit with the rest of the pack.