Belgian Grand Prix ticket holders could benefit from ongoing discussions held between Formula 1 bosses and the race promoter, Spa Grand Prix s.a, following the washout of Sunday’s event at Spa Francorchamps.
The scenes that took place at the weekend’s rain-soaked round of the motor-racing championship have led to calls for refunds to be issued to ticket-holders, who braved difficult weather conditions on Sunday for what turned out to be minimal race action.
Cars completed just two official laps behind the safety car after hours waiting for the rain at the track to ease. The two completed laps meant that it constituted a race and a result was declared, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen awarded half points for the win.
Williams’ George Russell finished in second place for his first podium finish, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in third. The Mercedes driver was later critical of the decision to send the cars out because of the half points awarded, and the fans who paid to be there.
He wrote on his Instagram: “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 where 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.”
After the backlash from drivers and fans, F1 issued a statement yesterday (Wednesday) to say that organisers and the promoters, which are responsible for the ticketing process, were discussing “various options”.
The statement said: “Following the impact of the weather on the Belgium Grand Prix on Sunday 29th August, Formula 1 and the promoter are working through various options for ticket holders, to express our recognition and thanks to them for their dedication and commitment.
“We will provide further details as soon as possible as we want to thank the fans for their continued support and passion for Formula 1.”
While not directly related to ticket holders from Sunday’s race, president of motorsport’s world governing body ,Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA), Jean Todt, issued a statement that could affect attendees in a future situation similar to that of the Belgium GP.
The statement said: “The FIA together with Formula 1 and the teams will carefully review the regulations to see what can be learned and improved for the future. The findings, including the topic of points allocation, will be added to the agenda of the next F1 Commission meeting on October 5.”