F1 announces staggering move after Belgian GP 'farce'

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Seen here, a race steward holds up a red flag during the rain-affected Belgian GP.
The Belgian GP consisted of just two laps behind a safety car. Pic: Getty

Formula One bosses have admitted they will reassess how points are awarded in the wake of a Belgian Grand Prix farce, that was labelled a "disgrace" by fans and drivers.

Max Verstappen won the shortest race in F1 history, with drivers and fans raging about the ludicrous scenes in Belgium.

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'SHOULD BE ASHAMED': F1 world erupts over Belgian GP 'disgrace'

Verstappen was awarded the victory when the rain-hit race was red-flagged after just three laps were completed behind the safety car.

Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton was one of the most vocal critics of the situation, blasting the F1 for caring more about making money than preserving the integrity of the sport.

Rain had been lashing the Spa circuit all weekend and causing problems, notably causing qualifying to be red flagged at one point after McLaren's Lando Norris suffered a heavy crash.

The rain was worse on race day, with the start pushed back three and a half hours and running for just 14 kilometres - the shortest race in grand prix history.

Despite trailing the safety car on both laps, the massive water spray generated by the cars made it all but impossible for drivers to see where they were going, forcing the cancellation of the race.

The FIA awarded half points for the race, with Red Bull's Verstappen closing Hamilton's championship lead to just three points, while Williams driver George Russell took home second after his sensational effort in qualifying.

Hamilton said fans should get their money back after they waited hours in the cold and wet without seeing a competitive lap.

Pictured here, an angry Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton at the Belgian GP.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has labelled the decision to award half points for the two-lap long Belgian GP a 'farce'. Pic: Getty

"Today wasn't a race. I think the sport made a bad choice today. It's a shame we couldn't do the race tomorrow," Hamilton told Sky Sports.

"I'm really disappointed for the fans, obviously we can't control the weather and I love racing in the rain - but today was something else.

"The fans stayed out, they still had energy but they were robbed of a race today and deserve their money back."

"Money talks. It was only two laps for the race to start - it's all a money scenario," he said.

"I love racing in the rain, but today was different. You really couldn't see the car in front of you. There was aquaplaning. It was unfortunately just a disaster on the track. 

"You couldn't really see five metres in front of you, the car in front was disappearing."

F1 boss says regulations will be reviewed

Following widespread condemnation of the Belgian GP, the president of the sport's governing body admits changes will have to be considered for future races.

FIA president Jean Todt apologised to the spectators who waited for more than four hours in the wet and cold but claimed the existing regulations had been correctly applied.

"This year's Belgian Grand Prix presented extraordinary challenges to the FIA Formula One world championship," Todt said in a statement.

"The weather windows predicted by the forecasters did not appear throughout the day, and while a small window did appear late in the day during which there was an attempt to start the race, conditions quickly worsened again.

"Therefore, due to the lack of visibility created by the spray behind the cars, we could not run the full race in sufficiently safe conditions for the drivers, marshals as well as the brave spectators who waited for many hours in the rain, for whom I am very sorry.

Todt admitted that the way future points are awarded in such a scenario was also under consideration.

"The FIA together with Formula 1 and the teams will carefully review the regulations to see what can be learned and improved for the future.

"The findings, including the topic of points allocation, will be added to the agenda of the next F1 Commission meeting on October 5."

with AAP

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