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F1 looking to "thank" Spa fans

NEWS STORY
01/09/2021

F1 is working with the promoter of the Belgian GP in a bid to "express recognition and thanks" to fans attending the event on Sunday for their "dedication and commitment".

The only ones to come out of Sunday's farcical episode at Spa Francorchamps with any real dignity were the thousands of fans in the grandstands and around the 4.35 mile track.

Despite the atrocious conditions not only did they wait and wait and wait for something to happen, they refused to have their spirits - unlike their frittes - dampened, and whether it meant Mexican waves, singing or dancing the Macarena, they gave the wash-out a real part atmosphere.

While some celebrated their points haul, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both called on the sport to refund fans for the race that never was.

Today, Formula One Management has issued a brief statement confirming that it is looking into the situation.

"Following the impact of the weather on the Belgium Grand Prix on Sunday 29th August, Formula 1 and the promoter are working through various options for ticket holders, to express our recognition and thanks to them for their dedication and commitment," it read.

"We will provide further details as soon as possible as we want to thank the fans for their continued support and passion for Formula 1."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 02/09/2021 16:26

"There was a time that teams brought all kinds of stuff so that they could race in all kinds of weather. They had quite a few different rain tires to deal with all conditions and they brought brakes that could deal with different temps. They would change a myriad of things on their cars to match them to the task at hand. Then the FIA stepped in and said "you can't do that." The FIA will investigate what happened but will ignore who started the ball rolling to this part. Add in the cost cap and the expense of damaged cars and wet races will be a distant memory. "

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2. Posted by Pavlo, 02/09/2021 7:14

"@C5 - yes it was ridiculous, but I can't imagine stewards being able to explain to the world that "there would be poor visibility if they would drive". Too many would-s and if-s. With medical car driving around and being quite visible, the amount of critique they would get for not letting cars out would be huge.
Yes stewards kind of broke the rules, but this was reasonable and justified. Assuming that the weather forecast around 4-5 PM gave certain probability of rain stopping, keeping the clock running could have resulted in stopping the rain under shining sun. How angry would everyone be, including the spectators?
To remind, the rule of 2 hours purely ensures the race is physically tolerable for drivers, for the cases where they have to actually drive. Which was obviously not the case here. 3 hours for the whole event is for purely commercial reasons - TV senders want to have predicted slots in the schedule. As far as know, they didn't complain. For both rules, circumventing them was obviously in the best interest of the sport."

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3. Posted by C5, 01/09/2021 22:47

"@Pavlo, fair point about the marshal visibility. But getting the cars on track for verifications is ridiculous. Either you start the race and the clock, or you don't. That's exactly why the two hour rule was implemented in the first place, and not they're doing all kind of shenanigans circumventing their own rules. Or that's how I see it."

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4. Posted by Pavlo, 01/09/2021 21:42

"@C5 - no they should not ask the drivers, their „opinion“ is too much impacted by all other politics, point standings etc. Stewards must have own objective criteria, and in this case there was one: drivers must see the the marshal posts. If they were not, stewards have no way to ensure safety (even with flags) so it’s a “no go”.
Problem for stewards is that such “fog” is specific for F1 aero, so they had to get cars on track to prove it. Yes it was obvious that the rain didn’t decrease, but still it was quite a regular rain (not a hurricane), other series raced, medical car had no issues, and all these spectators would get into their family sedans and drive 130 on a motorway. They really had no other options, they had to get cars on track just to prove.
Again, giving points for the SC laps seems wrong, but they couldn’t change the rules during an event… and no one ever expected this rule to have this consequence."

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5. Posted by C5, 01/09/2021 19:31

"For me, giving points is not an issue. It's in the rules, fine.

The issue is with the multiple "warm up laps" and subsequent farcial wait. I'm fortunate enough I always record the race and watch it later, so I didn't waste much time sitting around for nothing. Unlike the fans at the track.

Why the two-hour clock wasn't started once the safetycar has completed the first full lab I don't understand.

As for whether to race or not, why not just poll the drivers after the third or fourth safetycar lap? If at least 75% are go, the race director comes on the radio to remind drivers to please be careful and remember that the one who stay on the road are the one most likely to make the podium, and the safetycar pulls in. Anyone not happy should have the balls to pull into the pits, like Lauda did at Fuji a lifetime ago. If 25% or more of the drivers aren't finding the conditions suitable for racing, the race is red flagged pending better conditions. If better conditions doesn't materialize before the two-hour race clock ticks out, the race is called and points are awarded according to the regulation and everyone can go home for some dry clothes and a mug of hot (Belgian) chocolate.

"

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6. Posted by Oil Leak77, 01/09/2021 17:53

"Let's face it, Hamilton was in for the booing of a lifetime if he finished on the podium with a full crowd and race. "

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7. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 01/09/2021 17:01

"Free tickets for next year's race will be it. Maybe not "like for like", but free ticket none-the-less. "

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8. Posted by kenji, 01/09/2021 14:40

"Perhaps Hamilton and Vettel might like to refund their points in solidarity with the fans. That should ease their conscience seeing as there was no 'race'."

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