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Another Mercedes Snoozer At Spa As 2015 F1 Season Resumes

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After a nearly month-long break from racing, the Formula One racing season resumed at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps and it was back to the same old-same old as Mercedes went 1-2 with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in yet another runaway victory that was never close. Third place Romain Grosjean of Lotus was a distant 37 seconds behind after four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari blew a tire on the second-to-last lap to give away the final podium position.

The race had a rocky start as the field was forced to do an extra parade lap after Nico Hulkenberg’s car came up lame in the first starting formation, forcing him to DNS. After a clean start that saw current champion Hamilton run away from the field while Rosberg initially got caught behind some cars and dropped to fifth. However, unlike the Hungarian Grand Prix, none of those cars in front of Rosberg were Vettel – who started eighth – and that meant Rosberg gradually worked his way back up to second through the course of the race without any obstacle as tough as Vettel in front of him to pass. Once Rosberg was in second, it was merely a battle for the third and final place on the podium.

Vettel seemed to have that spot wrapped up after eschewing a second pit stop and electing to go the entire race on only one pit stop and – fatefully – two sets of tires. That decision would wind up costing him as Vettel was staving off a charging Grosjean with two laps remaining when his right rear tire shredded on Lap 42, allowing Grosjean to pass him and easily capture third place for his first podium finish of the year.

With the results, Hamilton maintains his overall lead in the 2015 Formula One points standings with 227 points to Rosberg’s 199 points and Vettel still holding on to third with 160 points.

The 2015 Formula One season continues with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza at 5 a.m. [PDT] on NBCSN on September 6, 2015.

Vettel's tire shreds on Lap 42 at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel’s tire shreds on Lap 42 at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.

2015 Belgian Grand Prix – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – 44 laps – 191 miles

1 Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes

2 Nico Rosberg – Mercedes

3 Romain Grosjean – Lotus

4 Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull

5 Sergio Perez – Force India

6 Felipe Massa – Williams

7 Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari

8 Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso

9 Valtteri Bottas – Williams

10 Marcus Ericsson – Sauber

11 Felipe Nasr – Sauber

12 Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari

13 Fernando Alonso – McLaren

14 Jenson Button – McLaren

15 Roberto Merhi – Marussia

16 Will Stevens – Marussia

17 Carlos Sainz Jr. – Toro Rosso

18 Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull

19 Pastor Maldonado – Lotus

20 Nico Hulkenberg – Force India

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