Belgium Grand Prix champ Nico Rosberg

German Nico Rosberg steered clear of the chaos unfolding behind him to cruise to an unchallenged victory in a disrupted Belgian Grand Prix yesterday.

His Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, the world championship leader, finished third from the back row of the grid, behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

The pole-sitting Rosberg kept the lead at the start and was never headed, after his main rivals, fellow front-row starter Max Verstappen and the Ferrari pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, collided at the first corner.

That elevated Ricciardo, starting fifth, to second and the Australian kept that place until the end, crossing the line 14.1 seconds behind the triumphant Rosberg.

The race was briefly halted with nine of the 44 laps completed after a massive crash for Kevin Magnussen, who lost control of his Renault.

The Dane, who was taken to hospital for routine checks after suffering a small cut to his left ankle, slammed violently into the barriers.

Officials deployed first the safety car then the red flag as marshals worked to repair the damage.