The Roar
The Roar


'Today was a farce': Drivers slam Formula 1 over three-lap Belgian Grand Prix

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29th August, 2021

Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix will go down in history as Formula One’s shortest ever race, and also as a leading contender for most farcical.

Just calling it a race takes a mighty stretch of the imagination – a delay of more than three hours followed by a few processional laps behind the safety car in heavy spray and no overtaking.

Officially, the action lasted all of three minutes and 27 seconds with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen the winner – a result effectively decided in Saturday’s qualifying.

George Russell, who put his Williams on the front row with a stunning lap in a wet qualifying session, finished second to secure his first F1 podium.

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes and the Briton’s overall lead over Verstappen was cut from eight points to three – after half points were handed out for only the sixth time.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth for McLaren with Sebastian Vettel in his Aston Martin rounding out the top five.

The rules say at least two laps are necessary for a race to become official and half points awarded but Sunday’s solution came across as a cynical box-ticking exercise to some and plain wrong to others.

While Australian ace Ricciardo said it was “a bit of a sad one for everyone, especially out in the stands” Hamilton was not as forgiving.

“Today was a farce… We were sent out for one reason and one reason only,” he posted on Instagram.


“We should have just called it quits, not risked the drivers and most importantly refunded the fans who are at the heart of all of our sport.”

F1 veteran Kimi Raikkonen also took to social media to voice his disgust.

“F1 is a joke, I don’t care what y’all say. They give is 50 minutes just to do laps behind the SC? T*** off honestly,” he posted on Instagram.

McLaren boss Zak Brown called for the rules to be overhauled to prevent such a situation happening again.

On Sunday there never seemed any question of racing.

“They knew when they sent us out at the end there that the track wasn’t any better and they did it just so we could start two laps behind the safety car,” Hamilton said.

“There was no point at which we could race so there wasn’t a race.”

FIA race director Michael Masi insisted commercial factors would never play a part in any decision regarding track conditions or racing, a point reinforced by Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali.


“Two laps or zero laps, it doesn’t make a difference in that respect,” Domenicali said.