FIA reacts to bizarre Belgian Grand Prix
By Mat Coch
Monday 30th August, 2021 - 5:27am
The FIA has issued a statement after the Belgian Grand Prix became the shortest race in Formula 1 history.
Officially the race was won by Max Verstappen from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, though in reality no racing took place.
After more than three hours of delays, the Safety Car headed the field for two laps prior to the red flag which finally ended the ordeal.
“Following the significant weather disruption to the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, the FIA and Formula 1 are disappointed for all the fans at the track and at home that today’s race could not go to full distance, but the safety of the drivers, marshals and spectators must always be the priority,” a statement from the FIA said.
“The Decision of the Stewards to extend the window in which the race could take place gave every possible opportunity to maximise the day’s running, but the weather conditions unfortunately did not improve sufficiently to complete more laps.”
Officials exercised a clause within the International Sporting Code which allowed them to use Force Majeure to pause the three-hour window within which a grand prix must be completed.
That afforded the opportunity for the race to effectively run overtime while suspended in the hope of improved conditions.
With little sign of those appearing, race director Michael Masi opted to send the field out behind the Safety Car at 18:17 local time, with a maximum of 60-minutes of racing possible.
However after two laps, the minimum required to constitute a race under the FIA’s interpretation of the regulations, the field returned to the pits under red flag conditions.
With the weather showing no sign of abating, it was then decided not to restart the race, making the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix the shortest event in F1 history.