The grotesque Belgian F-1 Grand Prix this past weekend will go down in history as one of the strangest episodes in the history of a contest that promotes awareness campaigns, and later, on days like this Sunday , suffers a serious deterioration of its image. The incessant downpour that fell on Spa Francorchamps made the situation very difficult for the task force of Michael Masi, the Race Director, to manage the situation. Despite this, the plan that was articulated to avoid canceling the event and thus having to face the financial compensation derived from it has received much criticism both from within and from outside the championship. That after more than three hours of continuous postponements, with the crowd of fans soaked in the rain, the organization accepted the two and a half laps that the cars gave in a caravan behind the safety car, and thus distribute half of the points and saving the race, provoked not only the anger of the fans, but also the recognition of a sense of shame on the part of the pilots.
The mess was of such caliber that even this Monday, already on the way to Zandvoort (Holland), where the next race will be held on Sunday, many still wondered if the decision to award half the points fell within the margins of the regulations. , which in its section 6.5 stipulates: If a race is suspended and cannot be resumed, no points will be awarded if the leader has completed two laps or less and half will be awarded if the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 75 % of the total test distance. In Belgium, the red flags flew on the third turn. In this case, article 51.14 should be reviewed, which is the one that ends on a crazy Sunday, because it calls into question the legitimacy of the points awarded: If the race cannot be resumed, those collected in the penultimate lap before will be taken as results. cancellation signal (red flag).
Most pilots agreed to classify the suspension as correct, arguing serious visibility problems. The only one who said he considered it acceptable to race was Max Verstappen, who had to start from pole and therefore without any car throwing water in his face. However, the accident that Lando Norris suffered on Saturday, during qualifying, and several other precedents led Masi to adopt a conservative stance. What outraged the runners was that the grand prize was considered celebrated, even though only half of the loot was awarded. In fact, those in charge of the teams will meet soon with those of Liberty Media, the promoter of the championship, to tweak the regulations and prevent such an embarrassment from being repeated. “I don’t think anyone can call this a race, so we will work to prevent something like this from happening again,” promised Zak Brown, McLaren CEO.
“It was a sham, and the only people who lost were the fans, who paid a lot of money to see us run,” denounced Hamilton through his Instagram account. “When the camera focused on the stands it broke my heart,” said Fernando Alonso. “At the end of the day I have won, but not in the way I want to do it,” summarized Max Verstappen.
“There is no commercial decision behind the decision made,” defended Stefano Domenicalli, Liberty boss. “The desire was always to run. We were following all the information in detail, and a window of good weather was generated to be able to do so. But when the race resumed, the comments about it were very clear, and coincided with another much worse part, “added the Italian, who confirmed the impossibility of moving the appointment to Monday,” for logistical reasons “, having to move everything the ‘paddock’ shed to Holland without wasting time.
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