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Belgian Grand Prix 2021

How every F1 driver reacted to the one-lap Belgian GP

RacingNews365.com has gathered reactions from every driver following the Belgian Grand Prix, which goes down as the shortest race in F1 history.

Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps was the shortest race in the history of F1, with just two laps taking place behind the Safety Car in awful weather conditions.

Officially, a race classification was declared after one lap, with half points awarded to the top 10 finishers. Max Verstappen therefore took the victory from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, as the field maintained their starting positions.

RacingNews365.com presents the thoughts of every driver on the unique situation.

Max Verstappen: P1

"We had two races where we didn't really score points, so we needed a decent result. It's not how you want to have the result, but I think the whole weekend we were very competitive. Conditions were not good. It just kept raining all the time. I think at 15:30 I said it was OK to race from my side but, of course, the visibility behind was very bad. Especially, I think, with the recent events you don't want to risk a big shunt to happen. It just didn't feel right. Of course, the fans won't agree with what happened, but you also have to think about safety at the end."

George Russell: P2

"We don't often get rewarded for great qualifyings, but we absolutely did [here]. I want to say sorry to all the fans. It was amazing, their support, to stay out here throughout, and we were all in the same boat. It was a shame we couldn't get this race underway, but from our side, it is such an amazing result. The whole team deserve it, because there's [been] so much hard work going into it over the last few years and there's not really been anything to show for it. We absolutely nailed it [in qualifying] and here we are standing on the podium. I can tell you, I didn't expect that this year, that's for sure."

Lewis Hamilton: P3

"[It] was a farce and the only people to lose out are the fans who have paid good money. 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."

Daniel Ricciardo: P4

"I mean, it's no one's fault. I'm sad, the fans are sad, I'm sure, but sometimes it's like this. It doesn't happen very often, so that's the good news! It's once in a, I don't know, 20 years situation. But the rain never gave in, it never stopped all day – it was crazy. Obviously, the qualifying was then the race, so it makes [Saturday] more important, and more valuable, so I'm happy with that. [Saturday's] lap gave me the result, but [on Sunday] I didn't do anything to earn it. I think they gave half points to symbolise something. We all want to race, but the right decision was made today."

Sebastian Vettel: P5

"It obviously was no race, so we should not have any points or anything. What's the effort we did [on Sunday]? We followed the Safety Car and all said that it's not fine to race. Anyways, I mean for us we get some points, but still it feels really odd. I've done so many races and this is by far probably the race that doesn't feel like a race and you still get some points, so it's a bit awkward."

Pierre Gasly: P6

"I didn't crash in the laps to the grid, but that's the only thing I've done today. I don't know if we deserved any points. I feel really bad for all the people who came here and waited hours in the rain to watch a Formula 1 race and the only thing they got to see was a couple of laps behind the Safety Car. I don't think there was any other option possible, because the visibility was so bad in the back. We know the consequences if a car gets t-boned or something like this. I'm a bit surprised, to be fair. I just feel they put us out on track at the end to do these laps behind the Safety Car, when it was worse [conditions] than before, just to allow these points."

Esteban Ocon: P7

"Hats off to the FIA and [Race Director] Michael Masi for taking a difficult decision. We clearly didn't show anything to the fans who remained here, remained in the grandstands, in such difficult conditions. That's the biggest shame. But completely the right thing [not to race]. It was too unsafe to drive. We are pleased with how that decision went."

Charles Leclerc: P8

"I think it was the right decision [not to race]. I couldn't see anything. At the end, we are all here to race, but sometimes you just have to accept… there was absolutely no visibility and I think in those cases it's better to stop it before something bad happens. A big thank you to the fans who stayed until the very last moment, it's obviously a shame for them, for everyone."

Nicholas Latifi: P9

"A lot of waiting around. Definitely not the way I would have liked to finish the weekend. I think everyone would have liked to get racing at some point, but it was not possible. It was too dangerous, the visibility was shocking. It's unfortunate for the fans. On the bright side for the team, it's another point for me and a podium for the team."

Carlos Sainz: P10

"Visibility was absolutely zero in P10, so I cannot imagine P16 or P20. [It was] the right call, in my opinion, not to race. Sometimes conditions are just not good enough to run a Formula 1 car. I don't agree with some comments made back at home [about] Formula 1 drivers nowadays not taking risks. Nonsense. The probability of a big accident was there if we would have restarted in any of these conditions. Sometimes you need to take it on the chin. I feel really sorry for the fans, but it was too tricky out there. In quali we struggled, but we didn't race, and I got half a point for something that I think I don't deserve. This is the only thing, maybe, that we need to review. It doesn't make much sense."

Fernando Alonso: P11

"The only thing that I don't agree with is why they do two laps and they give the points because we didn't race. We didn't have the chance to score points, many people. I'm 11th, I didn't have any green light lap to score a point and we didn't score so that's shocking. But it's their decision. [There] was no way we could race, as we showed. It was only [a] red-flag situation or [a] behind Safety Car situation, as we did. So how you can give points to a non-race?"

Valtteri Bottas: P12

"On the back straight, from where I was, I couldn't see anything. There was no improvement. But, was it a race? Was it worth points? From my side, of course, I was out of the points, so I never had the opportunity to fight for the points, so I don't think it was a race. It is what it is. For sure, it was a tricky call for F1 to decide what to do, but that's what happened.”

Antonio Giovinazzi: P13

"We tried [to go racing] a few times, but the conditions were really bad. Visibility was bad and [there was] also a lot of standing water. It was the right choice to not race. I'm sorry for the fans, but we tried!"

Lando Norris: P14

"We're here to race, we want to race, and I'm disappointed I didn't get to make up for [Saturday's] problem. But the problem isn't necessarily just going out and doing one lap; if you're not in first place, you're going to have a big crash, as you can't see where you're going. A lot of people don't understand, when you're seeing out-boards and on-boards [on television], how bad it is for the driver, with all the water coming on your screen, the amount of spray... these flashing [car] lights, which are meant to be so bright, you can't see them unless you're five or 10 metres out. I guess that's the safety point of it. You have no chance of driving like that."

Yuki Tsunoda: P15

"Of course, it's disappointing, but you can't control the weather. When you want to get a point, you have to be perfect from qualifying. It was completely... nothing I could see from the cockpit. You just have to feel the corners and guess where the turn is. I think it was really dangerous if we continued to race. I think it was a good decision from the FIA that we don't race."

Mick Schumacher: P16

"Looking forward to the race so much, as we have the whole weekend, not being able to race was very frustrating. Also the fans have been out there for so long, waiting for the race to go on, and they must have been freezing. Thank you [to them] and sorry that we didn't manage to show them what we had to show them. Hopefully we'll be able to catch up next year. Visibility was the main concern, I couldn't see a thing. If a car spins or slows down more than you, you'll collect them."

Nikita Mazepin: P17

"It could have gone different ways. When there is so much water on the track, and the visibility where I was starting, it was very, very difficult to see. Even behind the Safety Car, we weren't going that fast, and I couldn't see where the car is in front. I had to always try to keep a distance before the rain settled in the air. It wasn't the best day for us, but I can imagine for the fans it was even more difficult."

Lance Stroll: P18

"I think it's just a big shame for the fans that they weren't able to see the cars race, and it didn't happen, but conditions were really bad. It was tricky to go racing. I couldn't see anything from the back of the grid. It makes it tough to go racing and safety has to come first."

Kimi Raikkonen: P19

"We cannot change the weather. I think the spray was bad, but honestly, any track, any time we are in the wet, there's always going to be spray and it's not much better. If we take Imola [earlier this season], at the start, we could not see anything. Probably most of the guys who were not first, or in the first couple of rows, couldn't see anything. Once you go it starts clearing up. But I think we could have come to the conclusion [not to race] quite a few hours before!"

Sergio Perez: P20

"It is very frustrating. First of all, the fans have been amazing, standing there for us. I think as a sport we tried everything. My mistake was very costly, so in the end we lost a couple of points. Conditions were extremely hard and with these wet tyres, things are very, very tricky, very slippery. My mistake could have happened to anyone out there."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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

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