Robert Kubica was left ruing his late pit lane error, as the Renault driver found himself pipped to second by Mark Webber.
The Polish driver had started the race strongly, and had looked destined for second – following the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button.
However, while pitting for intermediate tyres in the last few laps, the 25-year-old overshot his pit box – a move which cost him vital seconds and handed his position to the Red Bull driver.
Despite this, Kubica was encouraged by Renault’s pace in Belgium and was pleased to secure the final place on the podium.
Renault’s pace was also cemented by Vitaly Petrov, who managed to finish ninth after recovering from the back of the grid.
Robert Kubica – 3rd:“This is a great result for the team after a weekend when we were competitive in every session, and we were racing with McLaren and Red Bull. Nobody was expecting us to be at this level in Spa, so I think we can be pleased with the work we have done. The conditions were very difficult at the start, and the track was damp before and after the Safety Car came out. I was running in fourth place when Button and Vettel collided, and I think I could have gone quicker than Jenson during that part of the race. When the track was clear, I was able to push to the limit and the car felt really good. Webber stopped before me to change onto the prime tyre, but the mechanics did a great job to get me out in front of him and, although it was very close up the hill after Eau Rouge, I held onto the position and then even pulled away a little bit. When the rain came again, the circuit was very slippery, but I was catching Lewis on the lap when we stopped. As I came into the pit lane, I told myself to take it easy because it was so slippery, but there were a number of controls I had to change on the steering wheel. I was distracted doing this and that was my mistake: when I looked up, it was past the braking point, I locked up the front wheels and collided with some of the mechanics – fortunately without hurting anybody. That cost me one position, but it was a race in which mistakes were very easy to make, so we can be happy that I maintained my position from the start and that our pace was very competitive.â€
Vitaly Petrov – 9th:“Scoring points was the target today, so it’s good to finish ninth. My start was okay and I then tried to push hard and come through the field, which is what I did. The race was nice, but the conditions were very difficult and it was hard to choose which tyres to use. The team made some good decisions and I stayed a long time on the slicks, so I think we made the best of it. After my mistake yesterday in qualifying, I showed that we have the pace to always be in the top ten and I hope next time I can qualify much better so I don’t have to overtake so many cars. We also had the f-duct this weekend, which gave me good speed on the straights and helped me in my battle with Rosberg, so it looks good for the coming races.â€
Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
“Robert’s third podium of the season is a great result for the team. Also, it was a strong performance from Vitaly to recover from the back of the grid to score points. Overall I think we can be very satisfied with this weekend, especially because we brought our latest updates, including the f-duct, and managed to get it working properly straight away. This weekend has shown us that we have taken a good step forward, which is very promising for the rest of the season.â€
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
“A fantastic result for the team. Both drivers did an excellent job and it’s great to see Robert finish on the podium, which was our target. And it was nice to have the pace to race with the Red Bulls and beat Ferrari, although unfortunately Hamilton was just a bit too quick for us today. Vitaly also drove really well and did well to score some points having started from the back of the grid. So it’s a very good day all-round.â€
Remi Taffin, Renault head of engine operations
“Both drivers had great races today and Robert’s podium is a good reward for the whole team. Vitaly also drove very well and did a nice job to recover from his disappointing qualifying performance yesterday to score points. This was the last race for these particular V8s and all went well. They didn’t miss a beat and the wet conditions this weekend made their life a little bit easier than it might otherwise have been.â€