Rosberg gets back on track to close the gap

Nico Rosberg won Sunday's Belgium Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg won Sunday's Belgium Grand Prix
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Haas F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean finished 12th and 13th respectively in Sunday’s Belgium Grand Prix.

Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg won the race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

The victory tightened the championship point standings as Rosberg was able to slice ten points from the lead held by his Brackley team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The gap between the two is now just nine points.

Banbury’s Haas F1 Team kept its 22-point advantage over ninth-place Renault, as neither Kevin Magnussen nor Jolyon Palmer finished in the points for the Enstone outfit.

The race began well for but a red-flag period scuttled the team’s strategy. Grosjean got a great jump in the 44-lap race, after starting 11th he avoided the chaos of the first turn of the opening lap by diving low through La Source to climb to fifth.

He was passed by Force India’s Sergio Perez on lap four but quickly settled into sixth place. Gutiérrez also took advantage of the lap-one contretemps, where four cars were eliminated outright, and advanced from 18th to ninth.

The safety car was deployed on lap six for Magnussen’s massive shunt at the top of Eau Rouge. The Renault driver escaped serious injury but the red flag was displayed.

Gutiérrez caught Kvyat on lap 27 to grab 12th. Gutiérrez and Grosjean each picked up a spot on lap 28 when Red Bull’s Max Verstappen pitted.

But Verstappen’s speed was impressive, and he took back 14th from Grosjean on lap 29. As Verstappen drove up through the field, others came back toward Grosjean, Palmer was one of them, allowing the French driver to jettison him for 14th on lap 32.

With seven laps remaining, Gutiérrez and Grosjean were running 12th and 13th respectively, with a five-second margin between them. As the laps wound down, Grosjean was able to cut into Gutiérrez’s advantage.