Max Verstappen won the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix this Sunday. The only thing is, he did it after just four laps under safety car. The weather conditions were deemed too unsafe by race officials. Thus, they had the drivers take a few laps around Spa, and then called it there.
A Wacky Race
Essentially Saturday’s qualifying session determined the final positions in the race Sunday. With William’s driver, George Russell, earing P2 in qualifying, this meant he got on the podium Sunday. This marks Russell’s first ever podium in F1 and William’s first podium in years. But this comes with the fact that there really was not even a race.
YES GUYS!!! THAT’S A PODIUM!!!
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) August 29, 2021
In accordance with Formula 1 regulations, if a race is stopped after at least two laps have been done and before 75% of the race is completed, all drivers are awarded half-points. This is only the 6th time Formula 1 has had to use this rule. The rain in Belgium was just too much for the drivers. Combine that with the age and condition of the circuit at Spa and safety is thrown out the window.
Fans at Spa were left drenched as they waited for hours. Many still believing the race would continue. But 3 hours after the scheduled start time, fans saw the cars drive slowly for four laps and then leave. Many fans are already calling this race a repeat of the 2005 US Grand Prix. But that is an entirely different story.
Opinions seem to vary across the grid amongst the drivers. Some are happy about their results, others agreed with the decision, while some where just plain annoyed the race even “started”. All of the drivers did agree that the race could not take place today. But one driver in particular was very upset about how the race was handled.
Lewis Hamilton on Instagram: pic.twitter.com/SNDxCLthDE
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) August 29, 2021
When approached by the media, Lewis Hamilton expressed his distaste for the situation. “My biggest concern is that the fans should get their money back I think and I don’t know if by doing those two laps means they don’t. We have better values than that as a sport.” quoted Hamilton. Later on Sunday, Hamilton would then post a much more angry sounding Instagram story. Despite the results meaning he maintained his championship lead, Hamilton clearly did not want to accept his 3rd place finish.
The happiest man in the paddock Sunday was undoubtedly George Russell. Getting his first podium gives Russlle a right to celebrate, even if it was unconventional. Russell noted how hard the Williams team works and how well he and the team will do in qualifying. But this unconventional race rewarded Russell’s and Williams’ efforts after coming up short many times.
‘From our Haus to yours’