Sebastian Vettel claimed it was “a joke” to award half points in the Belgian Grand Prix despite being classified fifth himself.
The race start was delayed due to heavy rain and poor visibility, eventually being suspended following formation laps behind the Safety Car. That technically meant the race hadn’t started, but when a second attempt to assess conditions was made behind the Safety Car some three hours later – seeing two laps covered – that was enough to count as a race result that could be awarded half points, meaning Vettel’s fifth place in qualifying earned him five points.
“That’s a joke,” Vettel said. “If you want to get a reward for qualifying you should get points for qualifying.
“What did we do today? I don’t know. I thought you had to do 25 percent of the race to get points? See how old I am!”
Despite his anger at the rule that allows points to be handed out for an event that saw no racing laps, Vettel believes the FIA took the right decision not to try and release the cars.
“Well the Safety Car is really slow for us. I was in P5 and you struggled to see. I had to really make sure I didn’t miss where Daniel (Ricciardo) was because you would see the light very, very late and there’s a lot of spray. I guess further back it was a lot worse, just as bad. Probably the right decision but surely a big disappointment, especially for the people (fans) that suffered today.
“The problem with racing is you are following each other, so you cannot start the race with a 15s gap between the cars.
“No one wants anyone to get hurt. We don’t want to get hurt in the car and we don’t want any spectators to get hurt. That’s always priority number one. It’s probably not a popular decision, but probably the right decision in the conditions today.”