A review into potential regulation changes to be discussed among the sport’s stakeholders, with it understood there is a desire to see what can be changed to avoid a similar scenario in future
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 30/08/21 2:51pm
F1 stakeholders are set to review the events of the Belgian GP and address what could be changed with the rules in future.
Sunday’s action at Spa-Francorchamps was effectively washed out and there were no competitive racing laps, but a result was still able to be called and half-points awarded after two full laps were completed behind the Safety Car following long rain delays.
It meant the finishing order of qualifying settled the race result with pole-sitter Max Verstappen taking the win, Williams’ George Russell second and Lewis Hamilton third.
F1’s regulations allow for such a scenario but it is understood the sport and teams will speak with the FIA, the governing body, to see what can be changed to avoid the same situation arising again.
Drivers and team bosses backed the decision not to start the race given the treacherous state of the conditions, but there has been criticism and unease about the fact a classification was still able to be issued without any racing taking place.
McLaren boss Zak Brown, whose driver Daniel Ricciardo collected fourth place after qualifying in that position, said the sport collectively needed to look at what happened and introduce changes.
“I think the FIA did everything they did to put on the race, they obviously can’t control the weather,” said Brown, McLaren Racing’s CEO. “They do need to put the drivers’ safety first, the conditions were not raceable.
“The regulations state after you do a few laps, it can be called a race. I think that needs to be reviewed.
“That is what the rules say, but that needs to be reviewed by all of us to learn from today and realise that if we are given this kind of situation differently to make sure the outcome is everyone gets their racing, whether that’s the following day, whether we come back.”
The Alfa Romeo team, meanwhile, issued a statement on Monday saying they hoped “lessons were learnt”.
“The decision not to race in these conditions was the right one, in the interest of protecting the safety of the drivers, the marshals and the spectators themselves,” said the team.
“However, the situation would have been dealt with a lot more appropriately by not having at all the “race” we witnessed yesterday: this outcome hurts us all, but in particular it hurts fans of the sport, who didn’t get the show they came to see.
“We hope lessons were learnt yesterday, lessons that will improve the way we operate in the future and that put the supporters of our sport in the position they deserve to be.”
Lewis Hamilton suggested that financial considerations lay behind the decision to complete the minimum of two laps to declare a result, but F1 president Stefano Domenicali insisted this was not the case. The world champion also described the events of Sunday as “a farce”.