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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton critical of F1: Sunday was a farce

The seven-time World Champion was not happy with some of the decisions made by Formula 1 and the FIA during the Belgian Grand Prix, which was the shortest race in F1 history.

Hamilton Spa 2021 regen
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has described the Belgian Grand Prix as a "farce" after just two laps were completed in the race behind the Safety Car due to heavy rain and poor visibility.

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.

Hamilton’s main title rival, Max Verstappen, won the race as half points were awarded despite the official Grand Prix distance being just one lap due to red flag regulations.

"Today [Sunday] was a farce and the only people to lose out are the fans who have paid good money," Hamilton wrote on Instagram.

"Of course, you can't do anything about the weather, but we have sophisticated equipment to tell us what's going on and it was clear the weather wasn’t going to let up.

"We were sent out for one reason and one reason only. Two laps behind a Safety Car and there is no possibility to gain or lose a place or provide entertainment to fans isn't racing.

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

The FIA rejected Hamilton's claims, saying the plan was to do everything possible to try to run a race, with no other considerations. Formula 1 Race Director Michael Masi said the cars were sent out the final time "to see what the conditions were like".

Asked by RacingNews365.com whether there was any commercial pressure at any point in the race, Masi said: "Never, not at all."

"I speak to Formula 1 regularly to keep them updated, particularly from a television perspective," added Masi. "Obviously, they're broadcasting the world feed so I always keep them updated regularly.

"We've got direct communication with the timing room with everyone to keep everyone up to date, because obviously, the pictures that are delivered on the graphics for everyone at home and to all of you in the media centre are generated through them."

Hamilton, who picked up 7.5 points for his third place finish, says he could not see the flashing red light on the cars in front of him during the Safety Car laps.

"Weather-wise don't remember experiencing [this]," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. "I mean, I've raced for years, so I don't remember on the weather-side.

"In the background, us being in Melbourne last year when we shouldn't have been, there are some similarities to how Sunday went down but at least everyone's safe.

"Ultimately, the visibility behind, once we did the start on the grid, as soon as Max pulled away, he just disappeared.

"I couldn't even see his red light ahead of me, so it must have been even worse for the guys back at the back. The worst thing is to see drivers in carnage and getting hurt."

F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier