We were deceived: the Belgian Grand Prix was thwarted by Formula 1 officials, not the rains
The rain in the Spa area caught the FIA by surprise. In total, the helpless standing at the “Red Water” lasted three hours and 47 minutes – everyone in the paddock looked so anxious, as if they had just learned that there is generally rainfall.
This is not the first time that Formula 1 has to curtail due to inappropriate conditions on the track, but for the first time it looked so clumsy and meaningless. And all this could have been avoided if the organizers of the championship had foreseen such a development of events in advance. Do not nod at the weather, this is a hoax: the Grand Prix was actually disrupted because of the FIA officials, and not a “sudden” rain.
Standing for beauty
After the riders left the pits for the first time on Sunday, August 29, a safety car drove them around the track for two laps. The race at that moment was formally considered not started – the start procedure was postponed. What were the promoters counting on? Forecasts clearly indicated continued rain and worsening conditions. Previously, there was no problem in counting the first laps as the distance covered when starting behind the safety car. Did the FIA really hope to build a peloton on the grid for a standing start?
If those safety car warm-up laps had been counted, you wouldn’t have had to wait another three hours and parade around the track again. Although for the fans in the stands it was already entertainment – all this time they remained in the wind and in the rain in the open stands. Definitely an unforgettable experience.
Fans in the stands of the Belgian Grand Prix
It is commendable that Formula 1 still hoped to hold the race, but why not announce the postponement for an hour and arrange something for the fans, since the forecasts do not promise improvements? Getting to the Spa-Francorchamps is not easy, they have spent a whole day of their lives for this trip.
And if the decision is made to do everything for the sake of conducting races, why do you need a timer? Initially, the rule that the race cannot last more than four hours was adopted for the sake of television broadcasts – so the channels knew that they were waiting for the worst case. However, even in the event of an hourly delay, the broadcast network inevitably collapses. And why, in the end, was the timer started 60 minutes before its end, if formally the race was not considered to have started? How does this timer actually work?
No marshals no races
Performing in a Spa in this rain is suicide. However, in this case, the problem is primarily in the Radillon turn – here, with zero visibility, the risk of a major accident becomes even higher. And at the same time, it is strange to see how the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix, held in heavy rain, is considered a Formula 1 classic and is praised, and modern and much safer cars do not race here.
One way or another, the problem is that Formula 1, in principle, does not provide for the possibility of transferring the race. For example, in the American championships, if the rain does not allow the race, the stage is postponed to the next day, and it is considered completed only after 50% of the distance has passed.
Sebastian Vettel in the “Radillon”
In principle, it is impossible to postpone the Formula 1 Grand Prix, and it is not so much about the record-heavy calendar or the broadcasting network – NASCAR races take place almost every week, and neither logistics nor airtime was a problem.
The fact is that the track marshals of the World Championships are volunteers without payment. All those who drive cars out of gravel traps, extinguish them in case of fire and signal to the pilots about the danger, come to the stages at their own expense and pay for their own accommodation on their own. At the stages, they are required to adhere to strict rules of conduct – otherwise they will take away their license and permanently ban participation in motorsport competitions.
From morning until evening, in full uniform, despite the weather, they are obliged to work at the post to which they are attached. To come to the Grand Prix, marshals take vacations at their main jobs, and they cannot stay for another day. Although we would very much like that – it is difficult to imagine people more dedicated to motorsport.
Year of Domenicali
Formula 1 has no bad weather plan. It is far from a fact that the spectators will be refunded the money for tickets – the race was formally held, the awards found the heroes. Nobody will return the money for the trip to the Spa and accommodation there for sure. The problem of bad weather itself is not F1’s fault, but this is not the first time that spectators are the most losers.
For example, in the Netherlands, there are still problems with tickets: only 70 thousand people will be allowed into the stands, although more than a hundred thousand tickets have already been sold. The promoters said they will independently decide who gets to Zandvoort this year and who will wait for the next season. Some fans complain that they still haven’t received confirmation.
F-1 President Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Jean Todt
On the other hand, F1 was involved in a scandal with gamers. So, the participants of the official online championship of the championship received the beta version of the new simulator earlier than others, in which the physics of the car’s behavior changed. Given that online streaks feature real teams, many of the participants are in a less advantageous position than those who previously had access to the game.
Finally, Formula 1 has yet to overcome the crisis associated with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The first visit of the championship to this country will inevitably provoke a surge of criticism in connection with the support of the government, accused of human rights violations. Stefano Domenicali hardly imagined the first year of his presidency in F1 …