'Money talks': Lewis Hamilton's furious swipe at F1 officials

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Lewis Hamilton speaks with a race engineer prior to the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has labelled the decision to award half points for the two-lap long Belgian GP a 'farce'. (Photo by John Thys - Pool/Getty Images)

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has blasted the sport's officials after Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix was called off after just two laps behind the safety car.

Rain had been lashing the Spa Franchorchamps 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.

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The rain was worse on Sunday, with the race beginning three and a half hours late 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 Max 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 was furious at the decision, claiming 'money talks' and describing the race as a 'farce'.

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

"So since everyone gets their money back, I think the fans should get theirs too because unfortunately they couldn't see what they came for and paid for.

"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."

Lewis Hamilton blasts Belgian Grand Prix 'farce' on Instagram

Hamilton, whose lead over Verstappen in the title race is now just three points, continued his criticism later.

"Today was a farce," the 36-year-old wrote on Instagram.

"The only people to lose out are the fans. We were sent out for one reason and one reason only.

"We should have just called it quits, not risked the drivers and most importantly refunded the fans who are at the heart of all of our sport."

In a statement, the FIA and Formula 1 said they were "disappointed for all the fans at the track and at home that today's race could not go to full distance, but the safety of the drivers, marshals and spectators must always be the priority."

The F1 grid was unable to complete the formation lap to begin the Belgian GP, with just two laps completed behind the safety car before the race was called off. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
The F1 grid was unable to complete the formation lap to begin the Belgian GP, with just two laps completed behind the safety car before the race was called off. (Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo was also feeling hard done by, after being denied the opportunity to convert from his best qualifying session of the season so far.

Ricciardo put his McLaren fourth on the grid after teammate Lando Norris' shunt in earlier in qualifying, his best Saturday effort since joining the team.

After a run of disappointing performances, the Belgian GP was an opportunity for him to finally bank some good points - making the eventual result even more of a gutting blow.

“It was a bit of a sad one for everyone, especially out in the stands,” Ricciardo said. 

“But when you can’t see and you’ve got no grip it’s a recipe for disaster.”

With AFP

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