2016 Belgian Grand Prix

Grand Prix de Belgique

Sunday, August 28, 2016
Round:
13
Weather:
Hot, dry and sunny
Laps:
44
Fastest Lap:
Hamilton, 1m51.583
Country:
Belgium
2016 season:
Report

Max Verstappen: he’s lighting up the sport like only a few have ever done. In the beguiling mix of audacity, youth, talent, a total disregard for reputations and the head-strength of a yet-to-be annealed prodigy, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement - and at an untypically sunny Spa this past weekend his following transformed the event to a packed-to-the-rafters celebration, perhaps even worship. Just getting from place to place around town last weekend was an expedition, an adventure amid a sea of orange, beer and cheer – and the atmosphere was amazing and refreshing. Born in Belgium to a Belgian mother and with the Dutch border close by, he is inspiring a following here like we haven’t seen since the days of Schumacher in Germany.

But his popularity and the controversy that follows from his audacity bled out the significant events of this race. Almost unnoticed, Nico Rosberg won it. Against probability, Lewis Hamilton lost only 10 points to Rosberg, taking third despite starting from the back of the grid, a great exercise in damage limitation that leaves him with plenty of new engines and components with which to fight Rosberg for the rest of the season. Improbably also, Mercedes was struggling and with just a slightly different turn of events might not even have been on pole and from there may not have won the race.

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