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Damon Hill

Hill: The Belgian GP was a parade not a race

The 1996 Formula 1 World Champion feels that Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix cannot be called a race after only one official lap was completed.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill believes the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix was a "parade" rather than a race, after just 6.88km were officially run behind the Safety Car.

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.

On the final attempt, at 18:17 local time, two laps were held behind the Safety Car before the race was called off. Lewis Hamilton has called for the 75,000 spectators who attended the race to get their money back.

"I think they tried everything they could to get a race underway under difficult circumstances," Hill told Sky Sports.

"I can definitely sympathise with Lewis' view because I certainly didn't have to stand out in the pouring rain, for what would have been much more than three hours, because they have support races, so the poor souls would have been drenched to their skin.

"They kind of deserved at least something of a show. I would call it a parade, not a race.

"Clearly there are people who are hugely exposed. If it was a case of having to refund tickets to the spectators, then you are talking a good 15 million euros worth of refunding. So promoters are typically on the very edge of survival."

Despite no green flag running, and one lap counting towards the race classification, half points were awarded so Max Verstappen closed the gap to Hamilton to three points ahead of this weekend's Dutch GP. Hill has described the season so far as "spicy".

"It's been fantastic," said Hill. "It's been incredibly closely fought throughout the field I'd say.

"There's been some outstanding performances by many drivers within the pack. Of course, the battle is between these two teams and two drivers. We've had a bit of a spicy season quite frankly."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix

The latest news about the Belgian Grand Prix straight from Spa-Francorchamps.

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