Lewis Hamilton wants the Belgian Grand Prix fans to have their tickets refunded after the race was unable to run due to the weather conditions, saying he believes the two laps run were only completed to generate a result.
After an initial attempt to start the formation lap behind the safety car, the FIA delayed the start on multiple occasions before two formation laps took place and the start procedure was suspended. A delay of nearly three hours saw little improvement before race director Michael Masi called for a restart after a small break in the weather, but with conditions worsening the race was again red-flagged after a little over two laps and did not restart.
As the two laps meant half points could be awarded, Hamilton claimed it was cynically done to ensure a race counted as taking place and questions whether fans will be compensated as a result.
“I feel really sorry for the fans today,” Hamilton said. “Obviously it’s no one’s fault with the weather but the fans have been incredible today, just to stick with us this whole time and hold out for a potential race.
“They knew when they sent us out there that the track wasn’t any better. It was just to do two laps behind the safety car, which is the minimum requirement. I really hope the fans get their money back today.”
Elaborating further, Hamilton says Formula 1 needs to do better as a sport if fans aren’t entitled to refunds due to what happened.
“There was no point at which we could race, so there wasn’t a race. But there is a rule for it to be a legal race, it has to be I think a minimum of two laps. So they knew that and they sent us out for two laps behind the safety car. And that activates a bunch of things — I don’t know all of the politics in the background.
“The fans should get their money back, I think, and I don’t know if by doing those two laps means they don’t… We have better values than that as a sport.”
The world champion agreed, however, that the conditions were too dangerous to race in, and backed the call not to attempt to release the field.
“No, no, it was tough. Couldn’t really see. Five meters in front of you, the car disappears on the straights, even the flashing light. You couldn’t go flat-out because you didn’t know where they were. It’s a shame because I wanted to race and it could’ve been a good race if it hadn’t rained so hard.”