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Belgian Grand Prix 2021

F1 CEO Domenicali: Money not a factor for Belgian GP restart

The Formula 1 CEO insists there was no commercial pressure behind the decision to try and restart the Belgian Grand Prix after a three-hour delay.

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Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has made it clear there was no commercial pressure to ensure the Belgian Grand Prix was an official race.

The start of Sunday's race at Spa-Francorchamps was initially delayed by half an hour before two attempts were made to start the race, with a gap of nearly three hours between them.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have criticised the decision whilst some drivers thought it was wrong to award half points to the top 10 drivers.

"When I hear that there was some commercial discussion behind that, it's totally not true, because when we're talking about racing, there is [a] responsibility, that is a clear process, and those things are not connected at all," Domenicali told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

Asked if F1 would have received its full sanctioning fee without a race, he added: "Absolutely. That's why I said to consider that as something related to a commercial implication is wrong.

"For the people, of course, it's a shame, because it's something that everyone wants to see, a proper race. But I think that the decisions taken by race control are absolutely correct.

"There was the wish and the will to do the race and as soon as there was information, I was following what was the situation there. There was a window of possible weather improvement to try to do the race.

"Then as soon as they restarted, the comments were pretty clear, and on another side, another weather forecast [was] received, [showing that it was] not possible. Despite the disappointment for everyone, I think in terms of management, it was the right thing to do."

Hamilton has suggested that the 75,000 spectators who attended the race should get their money back. Domencali says F1 will work with the promoter to see what can be done for disappointed fans.

"It's something that [we can discuss] together with the organiser," said Domenicali. "We are not the ones that are putting [out] the tickets. Some sign of attention could be done, so it's something that as a gesture of attention, in terms of what will be the right reward in this condition.

"Unfortunately, the race is not there. You can pay the ticket and it is what it is. At the end of the day, for sure, the organiser, together with us, will consider the attention, the maximum attention to the fans, that's for sure.

"I think there will be ideas that they already are thinking [about], considering what has happened this year."

F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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