Formula 1 should move on from the “freak day” at Belgian Grand Prix, according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
Persistent rain and poor visibility combined to prevent any racing from taking place on Sunday. The FIA delayed the race start only to red-flag the event after a series of formation laps, and then attempted a restart which was abandoned after the field spent two laps crawling behind the Safety Car. Max Verstappen was credited with victory and Lewis Hamilton with third, and Wolff said that while he is frustrated at not getting an opportunity to race for full points, he wants to put the race behind him as quickly as possible.
“I think we all have reasons to be upset,” Wolff said. “Half points have been awarded when probably it was expected that the weather wouldn’t get any better, but it is what it is. I guess you need to take this one on the chin and close the chapter for this race and move on.
“We must really applaud the fans, who were there for three days in the rain. They have waited for a race to happen. But as a team, we lost some points and that’s why we have to move on.”
Despite calls from a number of quarters for changes to the sporting regulations to prevent points being handed out in such a scenario – an idea that RACER understands will be discussed by teams, the FIA and F1 – Wolff said little can be learned when the weather impacts the weekend in such a way.
“This has never happened before, so you need to take it as a freak day, where we all hoped to have a spectacular day that didn’t happen,” he said. “Are there any learnings? I’m not sure, because we are dependent on the weather. Everybody tried hard to get a race underway and because of the rain, it didn’t happen.
“We have had plenty of fans that will have to go back to their jobs (on Monday), and we would have tried to have the race for the local fans. Therefore (a delay) wouldn’t have made a great difference for them.”