Rosberg victorious in chaotic Spa race

Nico Rosberg scored his first victory at Spa-Francorchamps while his title rival Lewis Hamilton claimed a podium finish from P21 on the grid in a chaotic Belgian Grand Prix.

By winning the race, Rosberg has now reduced the gap to his Mercedes team-mate Hamilton to nine points. But would have been hoping for more given the reigning champion’s back-row start due to numerous penalties accrued for three power unit changes.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo finished in a Silver Arrows sandwich on track while in the points standings, the money badger is third place ahead of the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who could only manage sixth and ninth following numerous incidents.

The field was reduced to 17 cars within just five laps and was red-flagged on lap nine for barrier repairs after a massive crash that sent Renault’s Kevin Magnussen to hospital.

At the start, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was slow away from second and was swallowed up on the short run down to the La Source hairpin by both Raikkonen and Vettel.

As Vettel dived down the inside of Raikkonen and Vettel turned in, Raikkonen was left with nowhere to go in the middle and the trio made contact.

Vettel spun to the back, while Verstappen and Raikkonen were forced to pit due to damage sustained, with the Ferrari developing a small underside fire to add to the drama.

Later on the opening lap Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein ran into the back of Jenson Button’s McLaren coming out of Les Combes, with both retiring.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was next out on lap two after sustaining a puncture along the Kemmel straight, and although he tried to continue, Sainz only succeeded in further damaging the car before pulling off track.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, who had started the race from the pitlane due to the team working on cooling issues, also soon retired after losing sixth gear.

Penalised tail-end starters Fernando Alonso and Hamilton had reached P10 and P11 by lap six, when Magnussen ploughed into the Raidillon barrier.

Racing up through Eau Rouge, Magnussen appeared to take too much kerb on the exit, sending the Renault into a high-speed spin across the track before ramming into the wall, resulting in a Safety Car period.

A flurry of pit stops for fresh tyres followed over the first two laps under yellow, promoting Alonso and Hamilton up to fourth and fifth as they had no need to change rubber given they had started on the mediums at the back.

But with the barriers severely damaged, race director Charlie Whiting took the decision to red flag the race for 17 minutes to allow repairs to be carried out.

The running order at that stage was Rosberg ahead of Ricciardo, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Alonso and Hamilton, with Vettel P11, Verstappen P16 and Raikkonen P17.

Raikkonen and Verstappen would make contact again soon after the race restart.

When Verstappen blocked Raikkonen on the following lap at high speed down the Kemmel straight, The Iceman again expressed expletive-laden anger.

Up front, Hamilton moved up to third on lap 18 of the 44 by passing Hulkenberg into Les Combes.

A slow pitstop three laps later dropped Hamilton to ninth, but as those ahead made their stops soon afterwards he rose back into the top three behind Rosberg and Ricciardo.

The out-of-sequence championship leader then had to overtake Force India’s Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg again after his third stop to clinch the final podium position, as Rosberg took the chequered flag by 14.1 seconds from Ricciardo.

Hulkenberg and Perez finished fourth and fifth, bringing Force India ahead of Williams to fourth in the constructors’ championship by one point.

The recovering Vettel and Alonso were sixth and seventh, with Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa eighth and tenth either side of Raikkonen.

Verstappen tried a different strategy for his comeback drive but could only reach 11th.

On his F1 debut, Esteban Ocon held off Felipe Nasr to claim P16.

Belgian Grand Prix, race results after 44 laps:

1    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1h44m51.058s
2    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    14.113s
3    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    27.634s
4    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    35.907s
5    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    40.660s
6    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    45.394s
7    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    59.445s
8    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m00.151s
9    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m01.109s
10    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m05.873s
11    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m11.138s
12    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    1m13.877s
13    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m16.474s
14    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m27.097s
15    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m33.165s
16    Esteban Ocon    Manor-Mercedes    1 Lap
17    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
–    Kevin Magnussen    Renault    Spun off
–    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    Retirement
–    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    Retirement
–    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    Collision
–    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    Collision

Drivers’ standings:

1    Lewis Hamilton    232
2    Nico Rosberg    223
3    Daniel Ricciardo    151
4    Sebastian Vettel    128
5    Kimi Raikkonen    124
6    Max Verstappen    115
7    Valtteri Bottas    62
8    Sergio Perez    58
9    Nico Hulkenberg    45
10    Felipe Massa    39
11    Fernando Alonso    30
12    Carlos Sainz    30
13    Romain Grosjean    28
14    Daniil Kvyat    23
15    Jenson Button    17
16    Kevin Magnussen    6
17    Pascal Wehrlein    1
18    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
19    Esteban Gutierrez    0
20    Jolyon Palmer    0
21    Marcus Ericsson    0
22    Felipe Nasr    0
23    Rio Haryanto    0
24    Esteban Ocon    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    455
2    Red Bull-Renault    274
3    Ferrari    252
4    Force India-Mercedes    103
5    Williams-Mercedes    101
6    McLaren-Honda    48
7    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    45
8    Haas-Ferrari    28
9    Renault    6
10    Manor-Mercedes    1
11    Sauber-Ferrari    0

Next race: Italian Grand Prix, Monza. September 2-4.

6 thoughts to “Rosberg victorious in chaotic Spa race”

  1. Renault Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen has been taken to hospital following his race-stopping accident during the Belgian Grand Prix.

    The Dane took too much kerb, appeared to bottom out and then lost the rear of his Renault on the sixth lap of the race, with his attempt to correct resulting in the car spearing right and into the barriers at the exit of the Raidillon left-hander that immediately follows Eau Rouge.

    Magnussen’s car ended up buried in the tyre barrier and partially lifted off the ground.

    Although Magnussen was able to walk away from the scene, an ankle injury caused him some discomfort while walking.

    His injuries are currently being assessed in hospital.

    “He left the car unaided and was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks. He is fully conscious and responsive,” said a Renault statement.

    “He has a small cut to the left ankle and has been escorted to a nearby hospital for further routine checks.”

    The race was red flagged on the 10th lap after a safety car period was initially called to allow repairs to the barriers, which were heavily damaged in the accident, but subsequently resumed.


  2. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was not impressed by the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel at the La Source hairpin. has the details.

    Max Verstappen has hit out at Ferrari Formula 1 drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel after an incident-packed Belgian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull driver Verstappen collided with the Ferraris at the first corner as all three cars tried to get around the La Source hairpin side-by-side, and he had more run-ins with Raikkonen as they fought back through the field later in the race.

    Raikkonen was heavily critical of Verstappen on the radio, saying “his only interest is pushing me off the circuit completely” and later calling his driving “fucking ridiculous”.

    Raikkonen was particularly unhappy with Verstappen moving late to defend his position on the Kemmel Straight, which he claimed forced him to brake at full speed to avoid an accident.

    When asked by TV crews if he needs to tone down his driving, Verstappen said: “To be honest, it’s a big lie.

    “I’m just defending my position and if somebody doesn’t like it it’s his own problem.

    “After Turn 1 when they do something like that, I’m not going to give up my position that easily afterwards.”

    Raikkonen added: “I’m all up for fair battles and close racing but when I have to back off on the straight when I’m making my move, that’s not correct.

    “I had to brake from full speed. I haven’t had that with any other driver.”

    The teenager put most of the blame for the “ridiculous” first-corner collision on Vettel, who was on the outside going into the corner, with Raikkonen in the middle.

    “My start wasn’t great but I dived on the inside, I didn’t lock a wheel, so I was easily making the corner,” said Verstappen.

    “But they just kept squeezing me and at one point I was on the inside, Kimi was squeezing, but then Sebastian just turned in on both of us.

    “He knows he is on the outside and he just turns into the corner where there are two other cars.

    “That took my front wing, I had a lot of damage and my floor got destroyed, so from there the race was gone.”

    Verstappen could only recover to 11th, missing out on points, as he struggled for pace with his damaged car.

  3. Kevin Magnussen walks away from massive crash as reported by

    Renault’s Kevin Magnussen escaped with only minor injuries after a big accident at the top of Eau Rouge on Lap 6 of Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix.

    Magnussen, running eighth, lost control of the back of his car as he crested the famous Spa hill, and spun rearward into the barriers before impacting front-on into the tyre wall. The Dane, who was able to climb from the cockpit, suffered a small cut to his left ankle and was taken to hospital for further routine checks.

    After being given the all-clear, Magnussen said on Twitter that he had a ‘sore ankle’ but would be ready for Monza next weekend.

    “Our first concern today was with Kevin after his big accident in Eau Rouge,” Renault team principal Fred Vassuer said. “He was able to leave the car unaided and was taken to the medical centre as a precaution. He was responsive throughout but had a cut on his ankle that required some further checks so was taken to hospital in Verviers.”

    The incident prompted a 17-minute stoppage of the race as stewards worked on repairing the heavily damaged barriers. It followed a chaotic start to the Belgian race, after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel went three abreast into the opening corner, all making contact and all picking up damage.

    Jenson Button and Pascal Wehrlein went out on Lap 1 after the Manor rookie ran into the rear of the McLaren driver, while Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson were also early retirements.

  4. Max Verstappen labelled as ‘dangerous’ when compared to Ayrton Senna by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. has the full story.

    Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has likened Max Verstappen to Ayrton Senna but also called the 18-year-old “refreshing but dangerous” following the Belgian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull driver Verstappen tangled with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at Spa, initially at the La Source hairpin on lap one which resulted in both drivers sustaining damage to their cars in an incident with Sebastian Vettel.

    Verstappen and Raikkonen later clashed again, initially at Les Combes where they touched before the Finn was left irate with the Dutch youngster’s moves at high speed along the Kemmel Straight on the following lap.

    “He is refreshing for me. He is a young boy I like a lot,” said Wolff, who tried to sign Verstappen before he became a Red Bull junior in 2014.

    “He comes in here with no fear, no respect, puts the elbows out.

    “It reminds me of the great ones – it reminds me of Lewis [Hamilton], of Ayrton Senna.

    “You can see that some guys are starting to think twice about how to overtake him.

    “Until now, all that has proven he is on the right track.

    “The FIA has not penalised it, the only thing that has happened is that he has been given a hard time in the drivers’ briefings.

    “Maybe next time, he will have a harder time.

    “I just fear it might end up in the wall heavily one day. It is refreshing but dangerous.”

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner defended his driver on Sunday evening, but was also unimpressed with Wolff getting involved in the debate.

    Horner said: “I’m surprised Toto is commenting on something that has nothing to do with him.”

  5. Despite starting the Belgian Grand Prix was many grid penalties thanks to fresh engines, the reigning champion was able to charge through to take a third place finish. provides the detail.

    Lewis Hamilton has hailed his Belgian Grand Prix weekend as “a super bonus” after he salvaged a podium finish from the back of the grid.

    With third place Hamilton lost only 10 points at Spa to winner and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to hold a nine-point lead in the championship, despite taking grid penalties for introducing three fresh engines this weekend.

    “To come out with a clean race like I did, to only lose 10 points and have three new engines is a super bonus,” said Hamilton.

    “We prepared ourselves in a way where we hoped we’d get some points.

    “But someone took me up to the paddock club today and I said [in an interview] I might not even finish.

    “But at the next race I’ve the same amount of engines, if not more than others now, and I can fight in the last eight races.”

    Hamilton was aided by the collision between Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel at the start, meaning all three were behind him at the end of lap one.

    Jenson Button and Pascal Wehrlein retired on the first lap after a separate collision, helping to promote Hamilton to fifth after nine laps when the race was red flagged for Kevin Magnussen’s crash.

    At that stage a win was on the cards, but Mercedes split strategies under the red-flag conditions and Hamilton was unable to catch Daniel Ricciardo for second place at the end.

    “At that point [at the red flag] I was already in the points, which was great, so it was just a case of seeing what I could get,” Hamilton added.

    “The thought of the win crossed my mind, but I was also conscious the gap was already quite big to Nico, who was obviously having a Sunday drive.

    “He didn’t have any stress from anyone, and was gone by the time I’d got past Fernando [Alonso] and the Force India of [Nico Hulkenberg].

    “So at that point I was just trying to fight for as many points as possible.

    “If someone had said ‘You’re going to lose 10 points and take three new engines, are you OK with that?’ I’d have said I’d take it, so I’m very happy with it.”

  6. Fernando Alonso says McLaren’s performance at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend would have been impossible to conceive even just a few months ago.

    From 22nd on the grid, Alonso produced a scintillating opening to move up to fourth by the time the race was red flagged on lap 9. He was unable to hold Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Force India’s Sergio Perez or Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at bay when the race resumed, but was able to fend off both Williams cars despite race-long pressure to seal seventh at the flag.

    “All the bad luck we had in the weekend concentrated in good luck in the race, with the incidents we avoided,” Alonso reflected.

    “We found ourselves in a good position in fourth, but we could not hold Sebastian, Hamilton and Perez – they were too fast.

    “But I think seventh was very good for the team. Top 10 in qualifying with Jenson [Button], top 10 today – on a circuit like this, that was unthinkable a couple of months ago.

    “It’s good news. Last year and even a few months ago we wouldn’t have been able to fight with Williams at Spa. We are moving in the right direction, that’s for sure.”

    Alonso’s six-point haul helped carry McLaren above Toro Rosso and into sixth in the constructors’ standings. It was the Spaniard’s fourth score of the season, and lifts him to 11th in the drivers’ championship – level on points with compatriot Carlos Sainz.


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