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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019
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Victorious Nico Rosberg salutes Lewis Hamilton's Spa recovery

Lewis Hamilton’s efforts in finishing third from the back of the grid drew grudging admiration from Nico Rosberg at Spa.

Mercedes driver Rosberg is now only nine points behind Hamilton in the standings.
Mercedes driver Rosberg is now only nine points behind Hamilton in the standings.

RACE WINNER NICO Rosberg claimed he was surprised with the performance of his team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton in a thrillingly chaotic Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Rosberg secured victory after starting on pole, but saw Hamilton come from the back of the grid to join him on the podium in third place.

Defending champion Hamilton now leads Rosberg by only nine points in another tight battle between the Mercedes duo, the Englishman minimising the damage by charging successfully through the field.

“I didn’t expect Lewis to be third and that was pretty impressive,” the German said.

“Congratulations to him. He must have done a great job.”

Rosberg was also satisfied with his own achievements, after finally claiming victory at Spa-Francorchamps.

“I’m feeling great, it was a perfect result,” he said.

“This weekend I came here to win the Belgian Grand Prix and I managed to do that.

“The car was really impressive. We started the weekend in a lot of trouble, but we pulled it together and changed the car massively.”

Rosberg also had words of encouragement for young Belgian-born driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull, who finished 11th after colliding twice with Kimi Raikkonen.

“I understand some of you (Belgian fans) are disappointed and you wanted Verstappen here but he is only young, his time will come,” he said.

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