Belgian GP: Formula One ‘seeking talks with teams over rule changes’ after Spa ‘farce’

Formula One bosses plan to tear up their rule book to prevent another Belgian Grand Prix ‘farce’ after rain meant drivers raced just two laps – with no overtaking allowed – leaving Lewis Hamilton and Co fuming when half-points were awarded

A rule change could ensure there is no repeat of this year’s Belgian Grand Prix with Formula One reportedly planning talks with teams and the FIA.

Autosport report that the sport’s bosses want to discuss an amendment to the rules following half-points being awarded for just a few laps in Spa. 

Two laps took place behind a safety car and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who came third, labelled the episode in Belgium as a ‘farce’. 

 Poor weather at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa saw the race decided behind a safety car

Max Verstappen was crowned the winner of the Belgian Grand Prix after a bizarre event 

‘Today was a farce and the only people to lose out are the fans who have paid good money to watch us race,’ he posted on Instagram.  

‘Of course you can’t do anything about the weather but we have sophisticated equipment to tell us what is going on and it was clear the weather wasn’t going to let up.

‘We were sent out for one reason and one reason only. Two laps behind a safety car where there is no possibility to gain or lose a place is not racing. 

‘We should have just called it quits, not risked the drivers, and most importantly refunded the fans who are the heart of the sport.’

Lewis Hamilton, who came third, labelled the event a 'farce' as he led the critical responses

 Lewis Hamilton, who came third, labelled the event a ‘farce’ as he led the critical responses

Autosport report that F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is ‘eager’ to speak to the sport’s teams and stakeholders to propose the idea of a rule change with half-points awarded for just the second time in F1 history.

With widespread condemnation around the way the decision was reached to hand out half-points following laps behind a safety car, changes are unlikely to be met with too much opposition.

Any amendments to the sport’s rulebook would require approval from F1, the governing FIA body and the teams. 

One solution would be to only allow for points following ‘racing laps’ – unaided by the safety car.

Like Hamilton, McLaren team boss Zak Brown was left unhappy at the handling of Spa and felt declaring grid positions from laps behind a safety car was unjust.  

In a video released on Twitter, Brown said: ‘The regulations state that after you do a few laps it can be called a race. I think that needs to be reviewed.

‘I don’t think there is anyone who would argue the weather was safe to race in, but we need a better solution as a sport when that type of situation happens. The outcome should not be a race after three laps behind a safety car.

‘That is what the rules say but that now needs to be reviewed by all of us, to learn from today and realise that we if are given that type of situation, what would we do differently to make sure the outcome is everyone gets their race in – whether that is the following day or it comes back.

‘I don’t think anyone would say it felt right calling that a race, so we will work on this and hope that something like this doesn’t happen again.’

F1 race director Michael Masi was largely praised for not putting drivers in harm’s way but he himself accepted that discussions needed to be had with all 10 teams to find a resolution for the future. 

There is a quick turnaround for the Dutch Grand Prix, which takes place this coming weekend of September 4 and September 5 at Zandvoort.  

Fans waited for hours but never saw any true racing action as the rain refused to let up

 Fans waited for hours but never saw any true racing action as the rain refused to let up