With Hamilton starting from the back row of the grid after incurring a huge grid penalty for a series of power unit changes throughout the weekend, Rosberg was left relatively unchallenged throughout as he led from start to finish on his way to claiming his sixth win of the season and his first victory in Belgium, ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Hamilton.
Rosberg, for whom this was his first win in five races and a vital step in reeling in Hamilton's lead, admitted that the race had not proven to be a great challenge, with his rival so far back.
Verstappen has been unafraid all season to take on veteran drivers - he pulled off a remarkable move in overtaking Rosberg round the outside of Becketts in the wet at Silverstone - and having already done battle with Raikkonen in Spain and Hungary, it was resumed here.
Hamilton started at the back of the grid after being penalised for using too many engine parts but managed to creep his way up the grid, and while he could not battle his way to victory, he did manage to take third and a place on the podium. "It all worked out fine".
The opening lap proved the adage that three cars do not go into one corner and come out racing, as the Ferarris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen all fought for space and paid the price.
It could have been a lot worse for Hamilton who produced an impressive performance to secure a podium place against the odds.
The Dane suffered a cut to his ankle but escaped serious injury.
Perez and Vettel rounded off the top six, with Alonso's strong drive fading in the final period of the race as he settled for sixth ahead of Bottas, Raikkonen and Massa.
The 15-minute suspension enforced a clean start, with Hamilton looking like a potential race victor all of a sudden. The Danish driver limped away from the scene of the accident before going to hospital for checks.
The impeded Ferraris were now squeezed wide and, as a outcome, Raikkonen came across and nudged into the side of Vettel.
Kimi Raikkonen was extremely angry with Max Verstappen, let's put it that way.
Raikkonen came in for a front nose change but the pit crew also had to put out a small fire under his vehicle.
Others struggled as the manic tempo continued.
Spaniard Carlos Sainz lost control when his rear right tire blew out, sending him pirouetting to an improvised halt on the grass. He then drove back across the track with his rear right wheel up in the air before parking at the side of the track.
The incidents prompted the safety vehicle to come out on lap-3, and when the race re-started a lap later, Sainz, Marcus Ericsson (Sauber), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Pascal Wehrlein (Manor), who hit Button from behind, had all retired.
Short-lived When racing resumed it was short-lived, after Kevin Magnussen in the Renault suffered a huge, high-speed collision going nearly straight into the barriers at the top of Eau Rouge. The yellow flags waved constantly, with debris all over the track from punctures plus Carlos Sainz's tyre blowing up, until their red counterparts replaced them on lap 10 following Kevin Magnussen's awful crash into a barrier; the track couldn't be cleared without a tractor, which necessitated a pause.