Spa-Francorchamps, August 28, 2016 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won an incident-packed Belgian Grand Prix from pole, which was characterised by a lengthy red flag period at the beginning of the race.
All three available compounds were seen at the start of the grand prix: medium, soft, and supersoft. Hamilton and Alonso started the race from the last row on the most durable medium compound, and took advantage of the chaos at the start to move into the top five by the time the race was red flagged. Tyre changes are allowed during a red flag period, effectively handing all the drivers a ‘free’ pit stop. This benefitted drivers who started on the supersoft tyres most, as the softest compound available was well into its opening stint when the red flag came out, in order to allow barrier repairs to be effected. Six drivers took advantage of the red flag to make a tyre change, including the top three finishers.