"This is a sham"

Hamilton, belligerent to "give the money back to the fans." F1 and FIA deny "commercial pressure" to do a two-lap race.


You couldn't run, that's what the twenty on the grid say. The water falling for hours on the asphalt of Spa-Francorchamps flew as a 'spray' as the cars passed and visibility was zero, although the grip of the cars was acceptable in those conditions. But the denouement of the Belgian GP, with two laps behind the 'safety car' that meet the minimum required by the regulations for it to be considered a race and points awarded (half) has outraged drivers, paddocks and fans alike. Many suspect that the final embarrassment, podium included, was aimed at saving the weekend in the face of contracts, sponsorships and, ultimately, accounts. "A marketing decision", described, for example, Alonso.

The FIA and F1 deny it. Masi, race director, assures that they resumed the race because "the weather offered a window" and they expected to complete a one-hour test, and that "no, never, never" received pressure from the championship to do two laps for economic reasons. Domenicali, CEO of F1, separates the commercial aspect: "It is not true. There was a window in which the weather could improve and they tried to run, but as soon as they left the pit-lane, the comments from the drivers were quite clear and the updated weather forecast made it impossible. Despite the general disappointment, the right thing was done. " Advancement of the test was not considered (F3 and Porsche Supercup ran hours before in better conditions) "nor was it possible to postpone it to Monday," according to Masi, because the regulations do not contemplate it and the logistics prevent it.

General admission between 155 and 405 euros

The circuit issued a statement applauding the behavior of the 75,000 fans present and "looking forward to seeing you in 2022", but there is no mention of a possible refund of tickets (from 155 to 405 euros for the entire weekend , but with the added expense of hotels, food or means of transport, they exceed 1,000 euros). The tickets are usually a source of income for the local promoter, in this case the circuit, to monetize the close to 20 million that they must pay as a royalty to Liberty Media for hosting a World Cup race. It seems difficult for an organizer to give up their main livelihood after a pandemic year in which they competed behind closed doors, without benefits.

"They knew it and they sent us to do two laps"

But that is what voices like Lewis Hamilton, who wrote on Instagram, are asking: "It was a sham and the only ones who lose are the fans who paid a lot of money to see us run." "You couldn't race so it wasn't a race, but there is that rule of the minimum of two laps for the race to be legal. They knew it and sent us out for two laps behind the safety car. I don't know the policies behind it but my concern is that the fans get their money back. I do not know if for having taken those two laps that ceases to be the case. This is not what we want, we have better values in this sport ".

The other hot spot of the debate is the points that were submitted without being able to dispute the position at any point in the test. Vettel, one of the most belligerent drivers in terms of safety, was clear: "A joke, if you want to reward the classification you will have to give points to the classification. What do we do? I honestly thought we had to do 25% of the race so they would give half the points, not two rounds. " What does not offer doubts is the suspension itself. "I was fifth and I could not see, I had to watch where Daniel (Ricciardo, fourth) was going, because suddenly and without warning I would find his rear light. It is not an easy or very popular decision, but it was the correct one in those conditions Nobody wants a pilot, stewards or even spectators to get injured, "Seb told the press in Spa.

Photos from as.com
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