Belgian GP: F1, FIA and teams to discuss rule changes after race without racing at rain-drenched Spa
A review into potential regulation changes to be discussed among the sport's stakeholders, FIA president Jean Todt confirms; Todt says the rules will be reviewed "to see what can be learned and improved".
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 31/08/21 6:00pm
F1 stakeholders will review the events of the Belgian GP and address what could be changed with the rules in future.
Sunday's action at Spa-Francorchamps was effectively washed out and there were no competitive racing laps, but a result was still able to be called and half-points awarded after two full laps were completed behind the Safety Car following long rain delays.
It meant the finishing order of qualifying settled the race result with pole-sitter Max Verstappen taking the win, Williams' George Russell second and Lewis Hamilton third.
F1's regulations allow for such a scenario but FIA president Jean Todt confirmed on Tuesday that the rules would be reviewed "to see what can be learned and improved".
It will be discussed at the next F1 Commission meeting on October 5.
"This year's Belgian Grand Prix presented extraordinary challenges to the FIA Formula One World Championship," said Todt in an FIA statement.
"The weather windows predicted by the forecasters did not appear throughout the day, and while a small window did appear late in the day during which there was an attempt to start the race, conditions quickly worsened again.
"Therefore, due to the lack of visibility created by the spray behind the cars, we could not run the full race in sufficiently safe conditions for the drivers, marshals, as well as the brave spectators who waited many hours in the rain, for whom I am very sorry.
"The FIA, together with Formula 1 and the teams, will carefully review the regulations to see what can be learned and improved for the future."
Drivers and team bosses backed the decision not to start the race given the treacherous state of the conditions, but there has been criticism and unease about the fact a classification was still able to be issued without any racing taking place.
McLaren boss Zak Brown, whose driver Daniel Ricciardo collected fourth place after qualifying in that position, said the sport collectively needed to look at what happened and introduce changes.
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"I think the FIA did everything they did to put on the race, they obviously can't control the weather," said Brown, McLaren Racing's CEO. "They do need to put the drivers' safety first, the conditions were not raceable.
"The regulations state after you do a few laps, it can be called a race. I think that needs to be reviewed.
"That is what the rules say, but that needs to be reviewed by all of us to learn from today and realise that if we are given this kind of situation differently to make sure the outcome is everyone gets their racing, whether that's the following day, whether we come back."
The Alfa Romeo team, meanwhile, issued a statement on Monday saying they hoped "lessons were learnt".
"The decision not to race in these conditions was the right one, in the interest of protecting the safety of the drivers, the marshals and the spectators themselves," said the team.
"However, the situation would have been dealt with a lot more appropriately by not having at all the "race" we witnessed yesterday: this outcome hurts us all, but in particular it hurts fans of the sport, who didn't get the show they came to see.
"We hope lessons were learnt yesterday, lessons that will improve the way we operate in the future and that put the supporters of our sport in the position they deserve to be."
Lewis Hamilton suggested that financial considerations lay behind the decision to complete the minimum of two laps to declare a result, but F1 president Stefano Domenicali insisted this was not the case. The world champion also described the events of Sunday as "a farce".