Nico Rosberg rekindled his world championship ambitions with victory in Sunday’s chaotic crash-hit Belgian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton staged an astonishing fightback to finish third.
Rosberg’s delight was reduced by his Mercedes team-mate Hamilton’s damage-limiting and thrilling drive to finish behind Daniel Ricciardo, second in a Red Bull, after starting from the back row of the grid.
“I would definitely have taken that before the race,” said Hamilton.
“I am so happy and proud of everyone. I was not expecting it and I had no idea what we were capable of, but I had a positive mental attitude today and it worked.”
Rosberg, 31, who started from his third successive pole position, led from start to finish in a 44-laps race fractured by accidents and incidents to secure his first victory in Belgium and his sixth of the season.
Hamilton, who started 21st after being handed 60 grid position penalties for taking three new power-units through the weekend, remains ahead of Rosberg in the title race with 232 points to 223, a lead of nine.
“It’s been great to get the win today, but Lewis starting at the back made it easier for me,” said Rosberg. “He’ll be back at Monza, as usual, and it will be a great battle and another good weekend.”
German Nico Hulkenberg finished fourth ahead of his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez, as the Silverstone-based team overhauled rivals Williams in the constructors’ championship.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari recovered from a first-corner collision with his own team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to take sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso, who had started 22nd on the grid.