Belgian Grand Prix finished after just 4 laps behind the safety car

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit de Spa-Francorchampsbe

The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps has been delayed indefinitely as rain has prevented it to get started at the scheduled time. Two hours after the normal starting moment, no racing has happened yet.

Rain at Spa-Francorchamps promised an exiting race, and even before it all started, it surprised Sergio Perez. The Mexican Red Bull driver crashed on on his way to the grid, making it impossible to get to the grid and start the race.

Early in the morning, it also became apparent that Alfa Romeo had made changed to Kimi Raikkonen's car, forcing the Finn to start from the pitlane. Bottas and Stroll on the other hand were put 5 places down due to penalties at the previous round. Lando Norris got the same penalty after the team were forced to change the gearbox following Norris's crash during qualifying.

This meant Max Verstappen started from pole, ahead of Russell, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel and Gasly. With Perez out, Ocon got promoted to 7th, followed by Leclerc, Latifi, Sainz, Alonso, Bottas, Giovinazzi, Norris, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Mazepin, Stroll and finally Raikkonen from the pits.

25 minutes after the scheduled start, the cars finally got going behind the safety car, but with rain continuing to fall, drivers soon complained it was impossible to see the car ahead at high speed. The field was fairly unanimous, and after two laps, they all followed the safety car into the pitlane to abort the starting procedure.

What followed was another discussion between the FIA and Red Bull Racing, with Perez eventually allowed to rejoin the starting procedure.

As Red Bull's mechanics were feverishly working to get their car fixed, most drivers and team members were being relaxed, or bored rather. Essentially nothing happened for the next period, until with just one hour left in the 3-hour timespan of what a race can entail in total, Ferrari and the FIA discussed "stopping the clock" to sort of bypass the time limit.

30 minutes later, this "clock stoppage" was indeed confirmed with the intention to still complete a one-hour race. Medical car driver Alan van der Merwe meanwhile also commented that the track itself is reasonable, but that there is simply too much spray to have enough visibility to go racing.

Another 20 minutes later, at 18:05 local time, it was announced that racing would "resume" at 18:17.

And indeed, at 18:17, the safety car left the pitlane, followed by all the F1 cars behind it. Conditions seemed much the same as before, with lots of spray reducing visibility. Two more laps behind the safety car and they all returned to the pits with another red flag, returning to the initial situation.

In the end, these additional two laps ensured there was actually a "race", good enough to appoint half the usual points for the race, even though everybody just completed 4 laps behind the safety car. This means this Belgian Grand Prix is now the shortest "race" in F1 history, and the easiest 12.5 points that Max Verstappen ever earned.


133Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda13:27.07112.5
263George RussellWilliams Mercedes1+1.995s9.5
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1+2.601s7.5
43Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1+4.496s6
55Sebastian VettelAston Martin Mercedes1+7.479s5
610Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Honda1+10.177s4
731Esteban OconAlpine Renault1+11.579s3
816Charles LeclercFerrari1+12.608s2
96Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1+15.485s1
1055Carlos SainzFerrari1+16.166s0.5
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1+20.590s0
1277Valtteri BottasMercedes1+22.414s0
1399Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1+24.163s0
144Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1+27.110s0
1522Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda1+28.329s0
1647Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1+29.507s0
179Nikita MazepinHaas Ferrari1+31.993s0
1818Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes1+34.108s0
197Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1+36.054s0
2011Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda1+38.205s0