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Belgian Grand Prix 2021

Why the Belgian GP could not take place on Monday

Poor weather conditions at Spa-Francorchamps led to the shortest F1 race in the sport's history, which has led to questions as to why the Belgian Grand Prix could not be postponed to Monday.

Article
To news overview © Haas

An unforeseen set of circumstances were brought upon Formula 1 at the weekend when the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix turned into the shortest 'race' in F1 history.

On a very wet afternoon at Spa-Francorchamps, the drivers completed just two laps behind the Safety Car, half an hour after the original start time. There was then a delay of nearly three hours before two more laps were run behind the Safety Car, with the race eventually called off.

It has led to the question of whether the Belgian GP could have been postponed to Monday. However, this would have been almost impossible to arrange, as RacingNews365.com overviews.

Logistical issues

FIA Race Director Michael Masi explained on Sunday evening that, due to complex logistics, postponing the race was simply not possible.

With the rain continuing to fall hard during the lengthy delays, the possibility of shifting the race to Monday was discussed by broadcasters, but Masi said a host of issues surrounding a 24-hour postponement would have been too much to deal with.

"I think there's a whole range... the list would be pages long between organisers, everyone here, all those here, there's just no ability to postpone to the following day," Masi told Sky Sports.

Pushed on whether the race could have been postponed to a later point in the year, he added: "I don't know if that's logistically a possibility for that to occur."

Marshals

Another key factor that thwarted F1's chances of hosting a race on Monday was the availability of marshals.

Most marshals are volunteers and have regular day jobs, so they would not have been able to make it to Spa.

Without marshals, motor racing cannot take place; they are the unsung heroes of the sport and finding enough people to get to the venue at very short notice is unrealistic.

"For many reasons, you cannot schedule the race for the day after, related to availability of marshals, availability of other stuff," Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali alluded to after the race, in conversation with RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"That was considered, of course, but it's not possible."

Spectators

Lewis Hamilton has called for the 75,000 spectators who attended the race to get their money back. Even if F1 decided to postpone the Belgian GP by 24 hours, many of those fans would not have been able to attend due to similar reasons as the marshal factor.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says most fans would not have benefited from a Monday race, which last happened at the 1972 Spanish GP.

"You need to take it as a freak day, where we would have all hoped to have a spectacular race that didn't happen," Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"[Are] there any learnings? I'm not sure, because we are dependent on the weather. Everybody tried hard to get a race underway and because of the rain, it didn't happen.

"I think we have had plenty of fans that will have to go back to their jobs [on Monday] and we would have tried to have the race for the local fans. Therefore, that wouldn't have made a great difference for them."

Zandvoort just days away

The matter is not helped by the second half of the F1 season beginning with a triple-header. F1's return to Zandvoort is just four days away, and everything has to be ready by Thursday at the latest, so there is even less time than usual.

Even though it's just a three-hour drive from Spa-Francorchamps to Zandvoort, everything would have been planned to move the entire F1 circus from Sunday night or Monday morning.

Pushing all of that back by 24 hours would have created a massive headache and a lot of paperwork. It simply wasn't possible for the sport.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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

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