Nico Rosberg has said it was a 'special moment' for him to lead in Belgium and while he knew he wouldn't be able to keep the position for long, it was still 'very exciting' to be right at the head of the pack.
Rosberg eventually finished sixth at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday and while he was slightly disappointed to be passed by his Mercedes team-mate, Michael Schumacher, near the end, he still reckoned it had been a good weekend. Indeed he is now looking forward to going to Monza in two weeks time for the Italian Grand Prix, the 13th round in the F1 2011 World Championship and is hopeful he can get an even better result.
“It was a very exciting weekend,” Rosberg said in his official post-race video blog. “We had a super spectacular start and got through the first corner really well - already I was happy. I was like P2, wow!
“Then I had a great run up the hill and I was even able to overtake [Sebastian] Vettel to take P1. That was amazing and it obviously helped that my car is so fast on the straights. It was a very special moment to be at Spa and leading the race, with nobody in front and a whole bunch of traffic behind with Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris and everything. It was very exciting.
“Unfortunately though we are just not fast enough [at the moment] and I knew I was going to go backwards. That is the way it is.
“But in the end it was still generally a good race. We finished sixth, which was okay. Michael got me in the end but the safety car just made his strategy work fantastically and after the last stops he was on the soft tyre and I was on the hard tyre. I also had to save a little bit of fuel.
“I am looking forward to Monza now [though] because it is again a high-speed track and our car should be a little bit better than elsewhere. Maybe I can do even better there.”
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn meanwhile was also very pleased to be back in P1, even if it was only for a few laps.
"It was a very exciting race for us and nice to remember what it's like to be at the front again, after Nico's excellent start and early laps in the lead. Both drivers did a great job on quite different strategies," he added.
“Michael began the race on the medium tyre and got that stint of his race out of the way quickly by stopping on lap four and changing to the soft compound. The Safety Car then worked in his favour by allowing him to catch up to the cars in front, and he was obviously on the better tyre in the final laps when he was catching Nico. It's a very nice result for him on this anniversary weekend, and especially after starting from dead last.
“Nico ran a two-stop strategy and, although it was a little marginal with tyre performance at times, he drove an excellent race to sixth place. Towards the end, we told him to trim his fuel: although we had a Safety Car period, one doesn't use this to save fuel under the current rules because any fuel saved is simply extra weight carried through the rest of the race, and at that point his fuel consumption was on target. In any case, it didn't cost him a significant amount of lap time, and the decisive factor was that Michael was on the soft tyre at the end while Nico was on the medium, which was around a second a lap slower.
“Overall, it was a very good team result and our best points score of the season so far,” Brawn concluded.