August 30, (THEWILL) – Race driver Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 lead driver, has slammed the organisers of the latest Formula 1 Grand Prix as he called the abandoned Belgian Grand Prix “a farce.”
THEWILL reported on Sunday that the race was heavily impacted by prolonged, substantial rainfall at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium and was ultimately abandoned under the wet conditions.
Due to an overabundance of caution, the laps that were completed came behind the safety car.
It was the first time in the history that an F1 Grand Prix was deemed to have been completed without actual full competitive racing.
Due to the laps that were completed, F1 awarded half-points.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was considered the winner after driving from pole position at the start of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
It must have been what irked Hamilton at he accused the organisers of sending the drivers out in unsafe conditions solely to enable an official result, putting finances ahead of fans and the safety of the entire racing field.
He concluded that the entire reason for it was that: “Money talks. It was literally the two laps to start the race. The sport made a bad choice today.”
Over on photosharing online platform Instagram, and through his official account, the seven-time world champion Hamilton added: “There was no moment today when we would have been able to race. We should have called it quits, not risked drivers and most importantly refunded fans who are the heart of our sport.”
As THEWILL reported, racing in the Belgian GP had initially been delayed by half an hour before a first attempt to begin behind the safety car was also abandoned as the track became too wet.
A delay of close to three hours followed, within which time the Red Bull racing team were able to fix Sergio Perez’s car, which had slid and taken some damage even before the racing started. Upon resumption, the drivers again followed the safety car around the circuit, only to be called back in after less than three full laps.
Following the Regulations that allow Formula 1 award half points after two laps, Verstappen was said to have won and given half points for the victory. Also, Hamilton’s compatriot George Russell secured a first podium in his Williams after a fine qualifying performance.
It was not only Hamilton that was critical of the actions on Sunday. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso queried the decision to restart the race after the delay and declared the situation “shocking” with Sebastian Vettel adding that it felt “really odd” to receive points for an uncompetitive race.
Hamilton described the conditions to buttress his point that it was a farce: “You couldn’t see even five metres in front of you on the straight. I really hope the fans get their money back. They knew at the end that the track wasn’t any better and they did it just so they could do two laps and declare a race.”
However, in their defense, race director Michael Masi rejected Hamilton’s claims, while explaining that the drivers were asked to restart to gauge current track conditions in an attempt to get as full a race as possible. Masi said: “There was a weather band where we thought we could get some racing in. The weather deteriorated so rapidly that we couldn’t.”
In the calendar of races in Formula One, the drivers head to the Benelux border into the Netherlands for the Dutch Grand Prix next weekend. It is the first time since 1985 that the Zandvoort track will feature in the calendar.
Home favourite Verstappen has successfully cut the deficit separating him from Hamilton to just eight points at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings and will be looking to make more progress at the Dutch GP.