In a race which will prove pivotal in the drivers’ championship, it was Lewis Hamilton who emerged as the real winner from yesterday’s Belgian Grand Prix. Storming 18 places up the grid after starting in 21st position, the Briton finished third behind teammate Nico Rosberg to limit damage to his title lead to just 10 points.
Following a raft of engine penalties earlier in the season, Hamilton’s race started in 21st position. Having made a brilliant start which saw him rise through the grid rapidly, world champion Hamilton finished the race in third place, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in second position.
The Briton's rise through the order was helped by the first corner chaos that forced both Ferraris and Max Verstappen into the pits and by the safety car and red flag deployed after Kevin Magnussen crashed his Renault at the fearsome Eau Rouge.
While Hamilton’s weekend revolved around damage limitation, his nearest rival and teammate Nico Rosberg did what he had to do in Belgium; win. Despite difficulties posed by irregular fragile tires, which many drivers descried as “ridiculous”, Rosberg was in control throughout.
"Daniel was quite quick in the beginning of the second stint, but generally I had it under control," said Rosberg. "The car was awesome and Lewis was not there to battle it out."
With Rosberg’s sixth win of the season cutting Hamilton’s lead at the top of the drivers’ standings to 10 points, the take aways from this weekend were plentiful.
Make no mistake about it, this title race is far from over. With eight races to go, this will go right down to the wire between Mercedes’ teammates Hamilton and Rosberg. Hamilton’s wily craftiness as he carved his way through the field from second-to-last to a podium finish in Belgium proved he is still the man to beat.
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