With Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton starting at the back of the grid due to an engine change, Scuderia Ferrari stood a good chance at scoring a double-podium finish in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, the Scuderia’s shot at a double podium and potentially even the victory fell by the wayside at Turn 1 of the first lap. As Kimi Raikkonen approached La Source, Red Bull’s max Verstappen attempted to pass him on the inside. At the same time Sebastian Vettel was attempting to pass around the outside and clipped Raikkonen, sending Vettel into a spin and puncturing Raikkonen’s tire.
The coming together sent all both Raikkonen and Verstappen into the pits, with the Ferrari needing a tire change and the Red Bull needing a new front wing. Verstappen, Vettel and Raikkonen then got a lucky break on Lap 6, with a red flag being thrown after Renault’s Kevin Magnussen spun at Eau Rouge and crashed into the outside barriers.
Rosberg led the field to green when racing got back under way, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in second and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in third. The Ferraris, meanwhile, got to work making up lost track position, with both Vettel and Raikkonen eventually working their way into the top ten.
Hamilton too worked his way through the field to find himself at the front of the field by the race’s closing stages. The opening lap carnage helped him move up to fifth by the time the red flag came out and after a brief battle in the mid-pack he had found his way into third place. The Red Bull of Ricciardo would prove too quick to catch, however, with Hamilton crossing the finish line about 13 seconds behind the Australian.
Ricciardo finished another 14 seconds behind Rosberg, who closed his gap Hamilton in the driver’s championship to just nine points with the win. Ricciardo’s second place result also extended his lead over Vettel, with the Australian now leading the German by 23 points.
Click here for full results from the 2016 Belgian GP.