Romain Grosjean was left in shock after securing his first podium finish in Formula 1 since the 2013 United States Grand Prix in Belgium on Sunday.
Grosjean had shown signs of good pace throughout the weekend, qualifying fourth on Saturday. However, he was dropped back to ninth on the grid for the start due to a gearbox change.
The Frenchman managed to pick his way through the field during the race, rising up to third place before making his final pit stop.
Grosjean emerged behind Sebastian Vettel, who was trying to make a one-stop strategy work and go to the end on a worn set of tires.
On the penultimate lap of the race, Vettel suffered a tire failure coming onto the Kemmel Straight, causing him to drop down the order. Much to the surprise of Grosjean, this handed the Frenchman his first podium finish in over 18 months.
“It has been an incredible weekend for us,” Grosjean said. “A great qualifying yesterday, unfortunately we had that grid penalty, and then a good race.
“I still can’t believe that we are on the podium. The guys have been working hard to give us the car to be able to be here today.”
The result was made all the sweeter for Grosjean given that it came at Spa, the site of his accident in 2012 that saw him receive a one-race ban from F1.
“Of course going into turn one, everytime I take a start at Spa, I remember 2012, but I think it made me stronger, and indeed it allowed me to [finish] ten times on the podium,” Grosjean said.
“Being here today is kind of special I think. For us, it is the prize of a race win.”