The race organizers of the Belgian Grand Prix considered postponing the race until Monday and will now work out ways to compensate fans for the lack of action, according to Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
Persistent rain and poor visibility ensured no racing took place on Sunday. The FIA extended the window in an attempt to get the race in, but called the event off after two laps to check track conditions just before 6:30 p.m. local time. Domenicali said that the idea of postponing the race until Monday was discussed, but was determined to not be possible.
“Not for logistical reasons, for many reasons you cannot schedule the race the day after,” Domenicali said. “From availability of marshals to availability of other staff, so that was what is happening. That was considered, of course, but was not possible. Of course, with the promoters everything is very close. They follow the decision process, so they are not out of that.”
Additionally, Domenicali said there is no question that F1 wants to do something for the fans at the track on Sunday, but who aren’t technically entitled to a refund because a race officially took place. Lewis Hamilton called for fans to get their money back, although the eventual solution will take the sport and organizers some time to sort out.
“It’s not a problem of support (for Hamilton’s point),” Domenicali said. “I think it is something – together with the organizer because we are not the one selling the tickets – that needs a sign of attention for what could be done.
“It is something that, as a gesture in terms of what will be the right reward in these conditions… unfortunately the race is not there, and you pay (for) the ticket and that is what it is. So at the end of the day the organizer, together with us, will consider the maximum (response) to the fans. That’s for sure.”
Domenicali also refuted any commercial considerations being at play when two laps were run behind the safety car to generate a result, stating that F1 would still have received its race-hosting fee even without any laps taking place.
“At the end of the day, that’s covered,” he said. “No, no, no. That’s why when I hear that there was some commercial discussion behind that, it’s totally not true, because when we are talking about racing there is a responsibility and a clear process and these things are not connected at all.
“It is a matter of being ready to do something for the fans. Two laps or zero laps, it doesn’t make a difference in that respect.”