The Belgian Grand Prix delivered something no F1 fan had ever seen. A 2-lap race behind a safety car in torrential rain. The race has been described as a “farce” by Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who says fans at the circuit should be refunded for the lack of racing. The rain brought with it unexpected moments, not least of all the appearance of a Williams car on the front row of the grid.
The race weekend was filled with incidents across the board, from Lando Norris’ Q3 crash to a dramatic multi-car accident in the W Series. After numerous setbacks and one attempted start, the Belgian Grand Prix was finally underway – it lasted two laps.
The never-ending weather reports
Weather conditions were serious enough on the track to cause Perez to lose control of his car on his way to the grid. Although his car would later be prepared and allowed to join the race, it served as an omen for the weather to come.
With the other cars on the grid, the race was delayed for 30-minutes due to the rain. The drivers complete two laps behind the safety car before being called into the pits. Safety was at the front of everyone’s mind after several serious incidents, including Lando Norris’ Q3 incident after Vettel suggested the session should be red-flagged.
Sunday’s race eventually was held for 2-laps behind the safety car. 2-laps is the minimum for an official classification and for points to be awarded. As the race had not hit the 75% threshold, half points would be rewarded – which could prove crucial in the championship.
How George Russell out-qualified Lewis Hamilton
George Russell – affectionally known as ‘Mr Saturday’ by commentators – showed why qualifying matters. Under wet conditions, the Williams driver managed to out-qualify Lewis Hamilton to momentarily hold provisional pole for the Belgian Grand Prix. Verstappen would deny him the victory by taking 0.3 seconds off the British driver’s time.
With the 2-lap race held behind the safety car, George Russell stepped onto the podium for the first time in the most unusual of circumstances. With the British driver hotly rumoured to be moving to Mercedes, it was an interesting set of dynamics to see him on the podium with his potential teammate for next season.
Amongst the chaos of the Belgian Grand Prix, George Russell’s first podium provided some light relief and momentary comfort for fans. One notable disappointment was for Daniel Riccardo, who had the potential to turn a so-far disappointing season around after qualifying in P4. With a full race, Riccardo may have been able to make his 200th race a podium finish.
If the Belgian Grand Prix provided us with anything, it was hours of looking at McLaren’s papaya orange team gear. The McLaren rain jacket was out on full display, alongside the McLaren 2021 essentials cap. You can even hide from the rain at Spa in a McLaren F1 hooded sweatshirt.
Hamilton leads in the championship by just three points as F1 heads to Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix next week. On home turf, will Verstappen take a home advantage and dominate the weekend?