Instead of a race – a farce. The Belgian Grand Prix went more than three hours, but only three laps
The Belgian Grand Prix is so severe that the pilots drop out of it even before the start: Sergio Perez, on his way to the starting grid, did not keep the car on wet asphalt and flew off the track. Last season, a similar incident in similar conditions did not prevent Max Verstappen from dragging the Red Bull to the starting grid, where the mechanics miraculously restored the suspension. Cheko was less fortunate: his car got stuck in the bump stops. Sergio reached the starting grid only much later …
The rain did not stop, the race started 25 minutes late and under the control of the safety car. “The conditions are terrible – I can hardly see the car ahead,” said Lando Norris, who had a serious accident in the Radillon the day before. Max Verstappen disagreed with the Briton: “The track is wet, but you can race.” The judges did not listen to the Dutchman: after two warm-up laps, the peloton returned to the pit lane, the start was postponed again.
The pause dragged on for nearly three hours – all this time, the pilots and spectators were closely watching the sky. During this time, Red Bull managed to fix Sergio Perez’s car – the Mexican was able to take part in the race, but the last one. At the same time, the distance of the race was limited to an hour.
Even in the safety car mode, the pilots complained about the state of the track, noting that it was not much better than three hours earlier. The safety car drove the peloton for three laps, after which the judges again stopped the races with red flags.
Returning to the pits, in the peloton they simply waited for the end of the time allotted for the race and declared it over after three laps behind the safety car – the sports regulations allow the early completion of the Grand Prix if at least two laps have been completed. However, since the pilots have passed less than 75%, they will receive only half of the points.
thus won the second place for “Williams”, the third was Lewis Hamilton. Daniel Riccardo is ranked fourth, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Okon. Charles Leclair finished eighth, Nicholas Latifi in ninth place – the Canadian is gaining points for the second time this season, and Carlos Sainz rounded out the top 10.
Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez ended up without points. Note also that Nikita Mazepin, who took 17th place, is formally considered the owner of the fastest lap.
In the overall standings, the gap between Hamilton and Verstappen was reduced to three points. Next are Norris, Bottas and Perez. In the Constructors’ Cup, Red Bull managed to win back five points from Mercedes – the gap was reduced to seven points. McLaren are now three and a half points ahead of Ferrari.
The next stage – the Grand Prix of the Netherlands – will be held on September 5 in Zandvoort.