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Belgian F1 Grand Prix 2016 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights, Reaction

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2016

SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 28: Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo leads Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H Ferrari 059/5 turbo (Shell GP), Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H Ferrari 059/5 turbo (Shell GP), Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer and the rest of the field at the start during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2016 in Spa, Belgium  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg drove superbly from pole position to clinch victory at the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Rosberg was flawless throughout in what was an otherwise chaotic race, building up a comfortable gap between himself and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who came home in second. Lewis Hamilton, who started in 21st, capitalised on a frantic start to move through the field quickly, taking a hard-earned third.

This triumph for the German sees Hamilton's lead at the top of the world championship get chopped to just nine points. Here is the race result and those updated standings:

Belgian Grand Prix 2016 Results
POSDRIVERCARTIME/RETIRED
1Nico RosbergMERCEDES1:44:51.058
2Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER+14.113s
3Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES+27.634s
4Nico HulkenbergFORCE INDIA MERCEDES+35.907s
5Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES+40.660s
6Sebastian VettelFERRARI+45.394s
7Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN HONDA+59.445s
8Valtteri BottasWILLIAMS MERCEDES+60.151s
9Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI+61.109s
10Felipe MassaWILLIAMS MERCEDES+65.873s
11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER+71.138s
12Esteban GutierrezHAAS FERRARI+73.877s
13Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI+76.474s
14Daniil KvyatTORO ROSSO FERRARI+87.097s
15Jolyon PalmerRENAULT+93.165s
16Esteban OconMRT MERCEDES+1 lap
17Felipe NasrSAUBER FERRARI+1 lap
NCKevin MagnussenRENAULTDNF
NCMarcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARIDNF
NCCarlos SainzTORO ROSSO FERRARIDNF
NCJenson ButtonMCLAREN HONDADNF
NCPascal WehrleinMRT MERCEDESDNF
Formula1.com
F1 2016 Driver Standings
POSDRIVERNATIONALITYCARPTS
1Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES232
2Nico RosbergGERMERCEDES223
3Daniel RicciardoAUSRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER151
4Sebastian VettelGERFERRARI128
5Kimi RäikkönenFINFERRARI124
6Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER115
7Valtteri BottasFINWILLIAMS MERCEDES62
8Sergio PerezMEXFORCE INDIA MERCEDES58
9Nico HulkenbergGERFORCE INDIA MERCEDES45
10Felipe MassaBRAWILLIAMS MERCEDES39
11Fernando AlonsoESPMCLAREN HONDA30
12Carlos SainzESPTORO ROSSO FERRARI30
13Romain GrosjeanFRAHAAS FERRARI28
14Daniil KvyatRUSTORO ROSSO FERRARI23
15Jenson ButtonGBRMCLAREN HONDA17
16Kevin MagnussenDENRENAULT6
17Pascal WehrleinGERMRT MERCEDES1
18Stoffel VandoorneBELMCLAREN HONDA1
19Esteban GutierrezMEXHAAS FERRARI0
20Jolyon PalmerGBRRENAULT0
21Marcus EricssonSWESAUBER FERRARI0
22Felipe NasrBRASAUBER FERRARI0
23Rio HaryantoINAMRT MERCEDES0
24Esteban OconFRAMRT MERCEDES0
Formula1.com

With Hamilton on the back row of the grid on Sunday, the start was always going to be fascinating. Things went perfectly for Rosberg, who surged away easily, although it was disastrous for a host of the other contenders.

The two Ferrari drivers touched on Turn 1, with Sebastian Vettel stranded in the middle of the track. Kimi Raikkonen suffered front-wing damage, too, so both men endured major setbacks early on; the Finn’s continued as he dived into the pits with part of his car on fire:

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 3/44: 🔥 underneath RAI's Ferrari as he returns to the pits after a puncture 😮 #BelgianGP https://t.co/2jx8bvpzGi

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen suffered damage to his car as well, while Hamilton stayed out of trouble in the early stages, capitalising on the issues of others to move quickly into 12th.

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An incident-filled start continued, as Renault's Kevin Magnussen was involved in a high-impact crash at Raidillon. Per F1 journalist Gianlu D’Alessandro, here’s a look at moment in question, which eventually brought out a red flag and halted the race so the barriers could be fixed:

As the action restarted, Fernando Alonso, who started in last place, and Hamilton were in fourth and fifth, respectively, and well in the mix for the top spots. They quickly changed, though, with the Mercedes too sharp in a straight line for the McLaren.

Hamilton moved through the field superbly early on.
Hamilton moved through the field superbly early on.Charles Coates/Getty Images

Hamilton also made his way past Nico Hulkenberg into third, but before he could look too far down the road, the world champion was brought in for fresh tyres after complaining of poor grip. It triggered a few more drivers coming into the pits, with Ricciardo also struggling for pace.

Sometimes, things got a little close for comfort in the pits, as was the case between Hulkenberg and Alonso on the exit:

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 24/44 - PIT LANE EXIT Force India 📻: "Did Alonso hit you?" HUL 📻: "Yes." #BelgianGP 🇧🇪 https://t.co/ntQ7m3UXlS

Hamilton was unable to get past Ricciardo and pitted again for more fresh tyres, coming back out in fourth with only Hulkenberg between him and a podium spot. The Brit quickly passed the Force India and went after Ricciardo for a second time with 10 laps to go. 

Rosberg never looked flustered at Spa.
Rosberg never looked flustered at Spa.JOHN THYS/Getty Images

The Mercedes didn't quite have the pace to reel the Australian in in the final stages, although Hamilton should be content with a spot on the podium at the end of a turbulent weekend. Meanwhile, Rosberg coasted to the chequered flag untroubled, taking a vital 25 points.

As noted by F1 on NBC Sports, Hamilton continued a strong record when he's started from the back section of the grid:

F1 on NBC Sports @F1onNBCSports

.@LewisHamilton has started P20 or worse multiple times in his career. He's done rather well in those races. https://t.co/IImrVLn3Rg

Afterwards Rosberg praised the effort of his longstanding rival. "Congratulation to Lewis," he said, per BBC Sport. "From last to third must have been pretty impressive. It is great to get the win, it is a legendary track. Lewis starting at the back made it a lot easier and I'm sure he will back at Monza."

SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 28: Nico Rosberg of Gecrmany and Mercedes GP celebrates his win on the podium during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2016 in Spa, Belgium  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Charles Coates/Getty Images

For Rosberg, this win was the perfect way to get started once again after the break. The German needed to arrest the momentum built up by his team-mate ahead of the midseason interval and must carry the form he showcased here into the Italian Grand Prix next weekend.

Hamilton will be delighted to have limited the potential damage of this weekend. Of course, the world champion will always be disappointed not to be on the top of the podium, but given the lively start to the race and how well things aligned for the Mercedes man, this was a fine effort.

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