F1 CEO Domenicali reacts to calls for refunds as Hamilton brands Belgian GP a “farce”

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali responded to calls for spectators at Spa-Francorchamps to be given refunds after today’s drastically shortened, rain-hit race.

Fans saw no laps of racing and just four slow tours behind the Safety Car as incessant rain fell from the start of the race until it was abandoned some four hours later.

Drivers such as Daniel Ricciardo have said those who came to the track deserve their money back. “I’d love for them to get refunded or compensated,” said the McLaren racer.

Lewis Hamilton was stinging in his criticism after the race and continued his attack on social media afterwards.

“Today was a farce and the only people to lose out are the fans who paid good money to watch us race,” said the Mercedes driver. “Of course you can’t do anything about the weather but we have sophisticated equipment to tell us what’s going on and it was clear the weather wasn’t going to let up.”

Hamilton was particularly unhappy the cars were sent out for two further laps behind the Safety Car, which achieved sufficient running for the FIA to award points, despite no racing having taken place.

“We were sent out for one reason and one reason only,” he said. “Two laps behind a Safety Car where there is no possibility to gain or lose a place or provide entertainment to fans isn’t racing.

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

Asked whether he supported the calls for refunds, Domenicali said “no I don’t”, however he indicated some form of compensation could be offered by the promoter, who handles ticket sales.

“Unfortunately the race is not there. You can pay the ticket and then [it is] what it is. At the end of the day for sure the organiser, together with us, will consider the attention, the maximum attention to the fans, that’s for sure.” Domenicali and the promoters are understood to be looking at a number of different options.

Asked by RaceFans if he had a message for those who attended the race, Domenicali said: “The message is clear: that, unfortunately, we don’t control the time. And two laps or no laps, the spend [on holding the race] was there.”

Race control “tried to do the maximum” to hold the race, he added. “So, as I said, it’s not a problem of laps or not laps, it’s the unfortunate conditions.

“You need to consider the safety for everyone and that’s very, very important. So as I said, the first to be disappointed is me because I love racing but there are also conditions which you cannot do it.”

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2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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141 comments on “F1 CEO Domenicali reacts to calls for refunds as Hamilton brands Belgian GP a “farce””

  1. Glad Lewis has the balls to say it as it is….but surprised he cares given how many of the fans booed him on Saturday & the general toxic environment with dodgy graffiti/stickers left around Spa….yet advocates them to get refunds….bigger man than me that’s for sure. I bet F1 can’t wait till Lewis retires so he stops embarrassing them!

    1. Exactly, props to Hamilton for standing up. Hamilton comes from a poor background and understand some people have to save up the money to buy the expensive tickets to watch a Formula 1. Letting fans get sick in the pouring rain for 350€ is an absolute disgrace.

    2. Balls? He didn’t have the balls to race when others were ready to. Maybe with his Ok on the radio during the first outing, the race director would have started it proper. And remember he doesn’t want the run-offs changed around Eau Rouge and Radillon and that drivers should just accept the risk, so don’t know why he chickened out today when that’s his philosophy.

      1. No drive offered to race, unless you mean that comment by Max who was out of front but had complied a few earlier about spray from the safety car

        1. Exactly, Max was the only driver who made any sort of comment about racing, and I’d assume that comment was purely to encourage doing enough laps under the safety car to get half points. He would have known that there was no chance of racing today.

          Reply moderated
        2. ‘No driver offered to race except the driver that offered to race’

          How can you come on here and seriously expect stuff like this to pass?

      2. Name one driver today who was happy to race/unhappy with the decsion? Even Max post race shared same views, he even said his comment was just 1 moment & others at the back probably had worse visibility/spray. No driver has come out to say they should’ve raced/it was wrong call.

        1. What was the stickers/graffiti left? Media not saying anything that I can find.

          Reply moderated
          1. Fake news, some friends attended and praised the public for sportsmanship.
            There will always be degenerates who think racism is a way to “hurt” someone. But you have to look for it to see those outings.

      3. @balue I know what you mean and I agree, Ham says one thing and does the opposite. he is right about the money though even if he is an hypocrite as his millions come from f1.
        I don’t think we should have raced, as you pointed out we might have managed to race but I think what Ham means is that we could have raced in the morning as it was done in Japan once upon a time.

        1. The hate on the only black man in the sport is so real wow

          Reply moderated
      4. Were others ready too? As far as I can make out, all the drivers have said it was too dangerous to race…

      5. @Balue:The only person ready to race was Max, that had quaint time of it sitting behind the safety car. All 19 other drivers didn’t share his sentiments. I wonder, maybe fans should pay for two lap specials for the rest of the calendar year. They could have raced on Monday. They chose not to, denying the fans a real race.

        Reply moderated
      6. @balue you must have hit your head as a baby, the only driver who was keen to race was the only driver with clear visibility of course, what are you on about?

    3. It’s also incredibly opportunistic and self-serving.

      1. Exactly. If he is so upset, he has millions, let him fork over some dough.

        1. Is it his responsibility? He is already providing funding to level the playing field with regard to diversity (that the FIA ought to be funding) why should he alone provide refunds for the fans (especially as a good number of them booed him at every opportunity)? The FIA ran the cars for two laps for no other reason than to get out of refunding the fans. That is utter contempt beyond the contempt of putting F1 behind paywalls… Domenicali hould hang his head in shame for supporting this farce. Spa is not easy to get to even when the weather is good. When it is wet it is a nightmare of muddy fields and long walks. I can’t imagine how horrible it was for the fans this year. They deserve better than a false race designed to fiddle them out of refunds.

          1. It was very hard to get to the circuit, indeed. Going through that, without seeing a race and waiting in the rain for 5 hours, it was a complete disaster

        2. He’s is the only driver ever in f1 who fark out 20 millions to diversity in the sport stop the hate its only so much one person can take, how you sleep at night knowing Hamilton make it by the hard work of his father but you still hating when the other driver come from well off family ?

          Reply moderated
      2. Racing means that cars are able to overtake safely etc . When cars are STUCK behind safety car… Considering the technology that F1 use over the whole season to see what weather will be like at specific times throughout the races. So tyres can be changed etc … On this day . The fact that heavy rain, lack of visibility, same technology was predicting more rain. Was expected. .and safety cars were used throughout the time on track,. so safety cars =NO overtaking… Hence NO race. If NO race monies should be refunded NO questions… The only reason F1 wanted and needed to 2 +laps of cars following safety cars was for Monetary gain .. So refunds if requested would be refused. Surely there are plans in place for this type of incident… I’m sure rules will be tightened up for next season. F1 are NOT a poor sport . With loyal fans who have to save . For months, possibly years to go and see a race.. as a special treat. In my own case I’ve never been able to afford to see a race live, so have to see on TV… With all advertising rights, etc I’m sure F1 can do the right thing and take it on the chin, this once!! This in turn will bring good will feelings to them and not money grabbing idiots some people may think of them… Me personally feel as if F1 have handled this wrongly.. only good thing was to stop actual racing albeit to late and shouldn’t have been started at all.

        Reply moderated
    4. It is very easy to ask for a refund for the fans if you don’t have to pay for it. So I don’t really understand why you think he shows he’s got balls.

      1. Gosh, the hate is real. Get a life!
        I know you probably don’t like him, but atleast keep the bigger picture in mind while commenting.

        His comment can make a difference to the fans getting a refund. Your sloppy comment here does nothing but show your hate.

        1. Stop using those puberale remarks.
          Accept there are other opinions then yours.

        2. Ah another Hamilton fanatic crawls out of the woodwork to attack posters and declare any criticism of Hamilton as hatred. In this case it’s incredibly someone disagreeing that an F1 driver complaining about the Spa race took ‘balls’. It’s simply inconceivable how anyone could say otherwise and must therefore be hatred, even if everyone knows he lost points and is angry the race wasn’t cancelled. Anything that is not glorifying Hamilton must be attacked in the hardest possible way.

          We’ve had a bunch of you on here, and it’s always the same. What it shows is your disrespect for civility, site rules, and hatred of others.

          1. Stephen Thompson
            31st August 2021, 10:09

            All the drivers thought it was too bad to race, they have more “balls” than you.

            I was recommended coming to this site from someone on PlanetF1 because there are less people who talk crap but it seems they were wrong.

            Lewis and most of the “older” generation have raced in worse conditions than at Spa in the past but things have changed. There have been a number of very bad accidents at Spa in the last few years in much better conditions.

        3. Indeed! Agree 100 percent!

          Reply moderated
        4. Andrew Smithson
          31st August 2021, 10:54

          As above totally agree

          Reply moderated
    5. If he would be on position 1 he wouldn’t be saying that.

      1. I love how you have the ability to visit various multiverses and qoute “if and but” situations as if you have witnessed them personally!

        Reply moderated
    6. Mark Middleton
      30th August 2021, 8:14

      Hamilton is only co.plaining about the two lap race because he lost points to max ha.ilton you petty little man

      Reply moderated
      1. What’s wrong with everyone???? We are all supposed to be F1 fans!!! Why slag drivers off? They are all there to provide entertainment…
        I can’t see why people comment about money either….these drivers are the best….they deserve their money!!!!
        Jealousy and hatred should form no part of F1. Why don’t people get a life, and live and let live??
        It’s brave to slag people off on here…..I’m sure these cowards wouldn’t do it face to face!!!
        Just enjoy the racing…..and the competitive sprit!!!

        Reply moderated
      2. No one should have got points from yesterdays farce it showed f1 in a bad light as for the fans they should be fully refunded no one drivers construtors organisers should benefit from yesterdays disgrace

        Reply moderated
    7. Roger Matthews
      30th August 2021, 12:25

      F1 could learn a lot from UK drag racing…if its damp we cant race, never mind rain…but promoters have almost always issued free entry to events following or a discount in accordance with the percentage of the racing day lost….

      Reply moderated
    8. Don’t tar us all with the same brush! I suspect over 90% of my fellow fans at Spa deplore the anti Lewis behaviour as much as you do. I am not a Lewis fan, as I support Max, but I respect him as a person and I really admire him for standing up for the fans like that – Good on him.

      This weekend was a total farce. If Domenicali cannot see that the damage to F1 by not giving at least a partial refund will be much higher financially then the few million needed to do the right thing, then he should not be running the show. This sort of bad publicity will drive both fans and sponsors away in their droves. Also, if he really believes that the decision to run the ‘race’ was not cynical, he is far too naïve to be in charge of anything!

      Reply moderated
  2. However he indicated some form of compensation could be offered by the promoter, who handles ticket sales.

    What a leech. Anyone needs any more evidence on why they did exactly three laps and stopped?

    1. +1
      His referring to the promoter is absolutely disgraceful.

    2. Just come back to Spa again this year for another GP and keep tickets valid. refund only those, who wouldn’t able to attend new grand prix.

      1. That’s a great idea!

        Reply moderated
      2. @regs So that means a full refund basically. Paid out of the promoter’s pockets.

      3. There is no question there are lessons to be learned. It was a very unusual set of circumstances.
        There is no question the fans need to be looked after on some level.
        I think it’s disingenuous the way certain drivers try to use a difficult situation for F1 for self serving posturing.

  3. Oh, come on. Like Lewis said, we’re living in XXI century, a quarter of it just gone. They had 4 days to come up with a B plan if race wasn’t possible. They should have one for every race in the calendar, actually. What happened to day is called theft in any sensible dictionary.

    1. Exactly. F1 has been in business for well over 70 years and well over 40 in the relatively modern era. There should be plans for what ifs which can always be refined as new scenarios present themselves. Some parts of the business is modern and high tech and other parts are medevial.

    2. It would not be calles theft. I get the point you are trying to make but that is a silly exaggeration.

      1. Fraud then? (In the UK That gets you a longer prison sentence than theft).

        1. But not if you’re in government…

  4. Spineless. Sad day for the sport and completely embarrassing. I have to say I’m a bit ashamed to be an f1 fan today.

  5. I asked this question on another post but it is more relevant here: can’t they hold a race in Spa between Interlagos and Jeddah or is too cold in november? Formula 1 would probably have to foot the bill and/or take a loss, but at least they would save face..

    1. The weather could be even worse.

      Reply moderated
    2. Stefano, i quit searching for 2021 GP tickets.
      See you in 2022.
      Or probably i’m going to Le Mans or Nordschleife.

    3. @fw11b

      No chance of F1 at Spa in November. Air temp was just 13C 𝘵𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺. Any Euro races in November would have to be further south.

      spa-francorchamps.be is down at time of posting, so not able to check their calendar ATM

      1. It could go back after Italy though.. that is in September.

  6. I feel for the race organisers. It was not possible to hold a race today. That said, the spectators paid huge sums of money to see a race, and they should be refunded. Domenicali should be ashamed of himself for behaving this way.

    1. Absolutely. But is it surprising, given how they treated fans and promoters of the GP last year in Melbourne? Thousands of fans were waiting at the gates for the opening practices of the season and F1 was playing hide and seek with the organizers so they wouldn’t be the ones cancelling the event. Spineless behaviour, then and now also. On top of that, they will surely demand the hosting fees from Spa circuit. Appaling.

  7. Imagine if someone sued the FIA somehow. That would be hilarious.

    Reply moderated
  8. Wow! With these comments, Domenicali shows nothing but contempt for paying fans. Hey! Domenicali! Without fans F1 is nothing and you would have no job.

  9. Stefano, remember when you said Sprint Qualifying had “overwhelmingly positive feedback”? That’s the completely opposite. This is him being lost inside that cold disguise behind his lies.

  10. Everything that has happened today makes me question why I watch and follow F1 and if I want to continue to do so…FIA really are an embarrassment sometimes on so many levels.

    1. Same thing here, I already cancelled my subscribtion to F1 TV. The spectators were even worse off, getting cold in the rain after having shelled out half a month’s wage for this debacle.

      1. Argh, you could have given me. There’s no option for german viewers to get F1 TV account now.

        Reply moderated
  11. I’d like to remind people who compare this with indianapolis 2005 that 1) they ran the full distance with 1\3 of the cars, so better than here, and 2) they REFUNDED spectators, so it’s 2 completely different situations!

    1. Or actually I think they gave them a free ticket for indianapolis 2006.

  12. “after today’s drastically shortened, rain-hit race.”

    There was a race today?

  13. Let’s compromise: whoever bought a ticket this year gets a 50% discount for next year race.
    This year, Spa certainly wasnt at full capacity. Of those, probably not everybody would come next year anyway.
    So, this 50% discount would amount to about 10-15% of next year’s box office.
    That would be compensated by more people attending/spending on the track in 2022 and it would be cheaper than the PR backlash from today.

    1. The problem is that this would probably fall to the promoter, i.e. the track, because F1 “held a race”. The promoter has paid a huge sum of money to F1 to hold the race and depends on the tickets to cover that cost. There will be no reduction in the license fee paid to F1 because they officially held the race, and even a 15% reduction in next year’s take would probably mean them making a loss. Unless the costs are covered by F1, the promoter is unlikely to be able to afford it whether they want to or not.

      1. Good point. I wouldnt expect the promoter foot the bill alone.
        Anyway, I wonder how much the revenue from the 2022 race will drop after today.
        They are probably counting on a drop on the potential revenue for 2022.
        Maybe some will think: “Spa sucked. I wont got there in 2022. I will save to go to Zandvoort next week.”

      2. At last, someone who understands the problem!

        The ticket money is the only income the circuit gets from the event, and they pay huge fees to the FIA for the privilege of hosting the event. Spa won’t be making a huge profit on the event, even under ideal circumstances. Unless the FIA agreed to compensate the circuit, there would be no money to refund the spectators.

        This is why the farcical safety car parade happened: by doing so, the “race” took place (in contractual terms, if not in real life) so the FIA avoids having to repay it’s gigantic fee to the circuit, and more importantly, the FIA doesn’t have to refund any of the even greater sums paid to them by the TV broadcasters, who could sue them for not having a race.

        You don’t have to be a cynic, but it helps.

  14. The crowd saw three one-hour practices and a 1.5 hr qualifying session. They missed out on most of a 2 hr race.

    That’s seeing 4.5 hours out of 6.5 possible hours = 70% of the possible F1 action.

    Of course the race is the most important part, so I think a 25-30% refund, at minimum, would be a fair “make good” to the fans. F1 taking a “no refund” stance here is a horrible PR move.

    1. I don’t know how F1 handles it but non-race day tickets for most events are 1/4 to 1/3 the price of the Sunday ticket. The race is where the value is.

    2. You are incorrect. Today’s crowd saw 4.5 laps behind the safety car plus 2 short support races, that’s it.

      Reply moderated
    3. Many will have only bought race day tickets… So they got practically nothing.

      1. Exactly, friend of me told me yesterday evening how two friends of his sister had a daytrip by bus, leaving early from Maastricht, NL and (supposedly) leaving shortly after the race again. Snag: they were there shortly after the ‘race’ but most other passengers not; bus did not go; they had to sort way back out themselves (not sure whether they got back only today; ie. absence from work?) – I think a lot of people will have similar stories, and while some might see it as an adventure, most will not have a fond memory, nor much inclination to do that again.

  15. They are trying to justify the “race” by saying there was no way possible a race could take place.

    This is just disgusting from F1. I know they don’t control the weather, and the race was rightly postponed then cancelled. But you cannot count it as a race, and everyone’s happy… You should come straight up and say we will compensate the fans, of course we will.

  16. Can someone confirm that these spectators would have gotten a refund with a cancelled race (if they didn’t do those 2 laps for half points). It seems like everyone is assuming this but couldn’t the outcome be exactly the same and all these conspiracy theories be for nothing?

    1. @undercut677 according to the conditions of sale here, the ticket holders would have been given a full refund if the event was cancelled – in fact, it is the only way of getting a refund on your ticket: “No refunds or exchanges are available in respect of tickets unless the Event is cancelled. No booking charge will be refunded if the Event is cancelled.”. https://www.spagrandprix.com/en/customer-notice

      So, whilst you’d still have lost a bit of money on the booking fee, which wouldn’t be repaid, you’d at least still have got the money back for your ticket.

      1. Thanks for the info. I don’t know if this is as black and white since it would depend on the definition of cancelled. The argument can be made that the race was not cancelled since it was held and everyone showed up even if not finished. There is nothing there that links the actual event to the awarding of points. The event could have taken place without those 2 laps at the end and no points awarded.

      2. James Hosford
        30th August 2021, 1:27

        No that’s not it. The ‘event’ is the whole weekend not the race. 0 vs 2 laps is no different.

        1. Sam (@undercut677)
          30th August 2021, 2:34

          Correct, therefore the conspiracy that they did those 2 laps so that the race would happen and they dont have to refund the fans is rubbish. Even without awarding points, there was no legal requirement to refund the tickets like Hamilton stupidly implied.

          1. Incorrect. The event is the Belgian GP. It says so right in the terms. As far as I know, the GP is on Sunday. It’s also where the ticket value is. Many people had only a ticket for Sunday too, so how the hell would Friday and Saturday action be relevant for them? When you pay for something, and you don’t get it, do you just move on and say bad luck? I can’t believe how some people will defend FIA on this. It’s incredible.

          2. Davethechicken
            30th August 2021, 8:58

            I would disagree Sam. Past races I have been to have tickets for race day with options for the qualy and practices too.
            You could buy a ticket for a practice session but not the race or qualy also.
            If you had a race day ticket and the race was cancelled then surely you would be entitled to a full refund?

          3. The ‘event’ lasts for three days – inclusive of practice sessions, qualifying sessions and race/s (including support events).
            Choosing to go only for a portion of them and missing out on the experience meeting expectations does not automatically justify a refund.
            It is up to the promoter to provide goodwill refunds if they wish, but there is no obligation.

    2. Yes if the effect is cancelled, you get a refund. It’s in big bold letters at the bottom of the t and c.

      Reply moderated
  17. Points were awarded. So, no refunds. Now I undestand why the cars were sent out.

    1. @al-perry How do we know they would get a refund if points were not awarded. Where does this idea come from?

      1. I wouldn’t know, but there’s clearly a grey zone.
        The fans paid for an event – if the race was cancelled, there would be a legal grey area about whether the tickets should be refunded – here, there is no grey area. The event took place. There is no legal standing for any consumers to seek compensation.

        Reply moderated
      2. Stefano told us. “It’s not a problem of laps o no laps”, so it’s a problem of laps o no laps.

  18. Funny how seven decades of innovation, hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of hours of simulator, design, and engineering work can be undone by a little nature.

    Reply moderated
  19. Max, Jos, Marco, Horner can reimburse the fans who were there mostly for Max. What a great opportunity for them to show how much Max and RB truly appreciate his fans. Good PR too.

    It was quite noticeable that other drivers ( Perez, Ric, Russel, Norris) made efforts to cheer the fans up although they knew they were there just for Max, but Max himself did not. Camera would’ve captured that if Max did. A few platitudes from Max afterwards on the fans of course as other drivers said the same thing too. But really he didn’t make any effort for his fans who suffered in the rain.

    The images of Horner, Marko cosying up to Max but not Perez was interesting. Did Max need more pep talk?

    Did Horner pressure Masi to allow Perez to race? Who put pressure on Masi to run the faux 2 laps to tick boxes so points could be awarded? Is there a reason for FIA to bend over backward for RB?

    Imagine if it was Hamilton who benefited at the top step and stretched his points advantage? One could just hear the insults and moans about him being lucky, hollow win, that he shouldn’t have celebrated so much and many more.

    It is Max who benefited the most. He celebrated.

    Reply moderated
    1. Max showed up several times during the breaks. Stop spouting out nonsense.
      And yes, all driver s should repay the crowd especially Lewis who did the call for it.
      If he has some balls, show it.

    2. You would celebrate if your comment towards me was a “great shot”, would you?

  20. Mark in Florida
    29th August 2021, 21:51

    Really I think Lewis is mad because the points that were awarded helped Max. So the statement was self serving in the end. Yeah it was a bad day, but how often does that happen? I do think that F1 should discount the tickets for the fans who came this year it would be good PR and would quell some of the bad feelings.

  21. When at Ferrari, Domenicali was quite likeable, if possibly a little out of his depth once promoted. Now he’s all corporate and cynical. Those two laps have put the circuit in an impossible position of being screwed by Liberty or acting their fans, or some combination of the two. Since Liberty are giving everyone the two fingers, I think circuits will have to look for a redefinition of what constitutes a race come renewal time.

    1. Agreed – this is a good lesson for race promoters in the future. Oh, we’ll have to cancel the race and not take your fee? Well, no problem, we’ll just for for a couple parade laps and call it a victory.
      Pathetic.

    2. That should have been “or screwing their fans”, of course. Autocorrect strikes again.

  22. One addition and a revision has been made to the article on the basis of further information received including that a number of different options are being looked at by Domenicali and the promoters.

    1. Hey Keith, that’s certainly not how I read that article – it strikes me as Domenicali pushing the cost entirely to the promoters and suggesting some options for next year.
      In the shoes of the Spa promoters, I’d say no race fees for next year and anything I make in tickets/etc sales are mine, thanks to you directly screwing me over this year.

  23. at the VERY LEAST give them a 20% discount for next year… waste of time and money for no resched or rain plan.

    1. Back in the 2005 Indy GP fiasco, a number of fans filed a lawsuit, resulting on the refunds. They did not come from F1’s warm heart. Hope a similar legal option Is available for fans in Belgium. What a disgrace.

      Reply moderated
  24. Funny how seven decades of innovation, hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of hours of simulator, design, and engineering work can be undone by a little nature.

    Reply moderated
    1. Nature brings down aircraft, sinks ships, flattens cities, kills millions every year.

      It has no issues with stopping people driving round in circles.

      Reply moderated
  25. After today’s wet “race” I wonder what technical changes could make F1 cars be able to race better in the rain?

    *More ground clearance perhaps?
    *Allowing teams to change setup including ride height between sessions/before the start of the race?

    1. How about the steering wheel screen showing cars in front somehow?

    2. Sadly, the next (2022+) set of cars will be even worse in the wet…
      The increased ‘ground effect’ will pull even more moisture up, making the visibility issue in the wet even worse.
      F1 in dry conditions only from now on, perhaps….

  26. The promoter could argue that what went on today was not a race.
    A competition between people, animals, vehicles, etc., to determine which one is the fastest. A contest of speed!
    Travelling behind a pace car is not a race, as nobody can actually “race”.

  27. Well, one thing that happened today is that the 2005 USGP has been decisively dethroned as the most farcial F1 “race” ever.

    1. It really hasn’t.

      Reply moderated
    2. Not at all, two very different situations. One was a result of 100% human error and the other primarily due to weather and a focus on safety.

      1. The argument is not that the race should have happend. It clearly should not have. The argument is that it should have been cancelled. No point should be given and fans should be given refunds.

        1. Sam (@undercut677)
          30th August 2021, 2:39

          This is false. You are confusing legal considerations with sporting regulations. Even if they didn’t go out for 2 laps and no points were awarded, that is a sporting decision that has no bearing on the fact that the event DID happen. The event took place, people showed up, costs were incurred and no refunds are legally warranted. The Japanese GP was cancelles but this was not. What the stewards decides to do does not change that.

          Having said that, I think they shoukd give the fans some kind of refund but the idea that awarding points or not influences their legal requirement to do so is simply false.

  28. Francisco Figueiredo
    29th August 2021, 22:37

    So, If I buy a ticket to watch a movie and then there is no movie, they can always say they won’t refund me because it’s not their fault that the electricity went out.

    Reply moderated
    1. I think there are plenty of things that have force majeure clauses

      1. Francisco Figueiredo
        30th August 2021, 11:48

        What you say is true, but consider this: had the race been cancelled – as I think it should have been – the paying spectators would probably have a much better legal stance for demanding a refund, since this is stated in the ticket website for the race with no mention of weather conditions, just “cancellation” as a reason for refund. Running 2 laps behind the pace car, call it a “race” and deny compensation on the basis of that is, in my opinion, dishonest tactics by the organizers to avoid paying anything. MotoGP has already refunded spectators for a bad weather cancellation and even NASCAR has measures in place for compensations in case of bad weather. F1’s answer to fans is simply “not our problem”. I don’t think this is a way to run business. Even if the organizers are protected by “force majeure” clauses I think there’s always a moral obligation towards fans especially when so many people had to travel abroad to watch the race and the usual very high price for tickets.

  29. I agree with Hamilton that fans should be refunded, but he makes over one million dollars per race, so why doesn’t he take the million dollars he will get paid for not racing and give it to the fans.

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  30. Some italian got mixed with the english. “we can’t control time” tome in italian is both time and weather.

  31. There is nothing farcical about today. As much as the equipment may be advanced, one cannot legislate the weather. The race organises hardly make a profit due to high race fees, how are they going to refund tickets and stay in business?
    It’s incredibly self serving for a millionaire to ask the race promoter to refund tickets.
    The fans got a raw deal today and deserve to be looked after for sure, perhaps a good discount on next year’s race provided it’s funded by F1. Who knows, maybe the drivers can pitch in if they feel so strongly about it…

    1. I don’t think anyone is asking for the promoter to provide the refund… This was the FIAs farce not the owners of the track. The owners were not the ones asking for 2 laps behind the safety car. The refunds should come from the FIA.

    2. How was todays events the “FIAs farce”???
      The weather was horrendous, if they go ahead with the race and a driver crashes and gets injured then it’s FIAs fault. If they dont run the race because of the weather it’s also the FIAs fault.
      You have to be pragmatic.

      1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend even if the weather might have prevented the race going ahead, the way that the event was run was not great given the ongoing confusion about whether the race had or hadn’t started and the ongoing poor communication throughout the session, the confusing situation over Perez’s car, where the FIA may have broken their own regulations to allow him back into the race, the subsequent arguments over whether the drivers did do enough laps for the race to take place and so on.

        People do not feel that they were being treated in an honest and transparent way – yes, the weather was poor enough to justify the race not taking place, but the way in which those organising the race managed events was poor and has given many the impression that the organisers were not acting in the interests of those present.

  32. It was appalling. Embarrassing for F1 as a sport and even more so the FIA and Domenicalli in particular. Low point of his career.

    Some of those people would have paid for travel, parking, hotels etc and they didn’t even get a free bag of fries while sitting about 5 hours in the pouring rain.

    They should get a credit for next years event if not a refund for their Sunday ticket.

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  33. Domenicali has effectively said, we have your money now nick off like good little plebs.

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  34. I think 1/2 points are valid to recognize Saturday quali results but the fans deserve remedy for Sunday. It was clear that conditions were worse. That means they changed their calculus on going out. Clearly at least in part for money.

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  35. Ok. Here is an idea that would please some (not all) frustrated spectators. Offer to provide them with some high quality official F1 team gear duly autographed by the drivers who “feel so bad” for the fans, as compensation for the raceless race. Let’s see if they walk the talk or are just blowing smoke.

    1. The drivers and especially Hamilton are so self serving it’s unbelievable.
      Hamilton is calling for refunds, who is going to fund it?
      The promoter hardly makes a profit from hosting the race.
      The FIA took the only decision anyone could have taken given the conditions.
      Perhaps Lewis, who is on 30 million a year and lives in Monaco so he doesn’t have to pay taxes, feels so strongly about this that he might want to pitch in with compensation for the spectators…

      1. Tarquin Chufflebottom Esq.
        30th August 2021, 6:51

        F1 should fund it. They are the ones who conned the fans with this farcical race simulation.

      2. “Who is going to fund it”?

        Presumably the event insurers?

        Promoter should have insurance… except F1 ran the ‘race’ so no doubt invalidated any attempt to claim insurance for a cancelled race,

        So why did the race get run and not cancelled? Probably so that F1 weren’t on the hook to the broadcasters, advertisers, promoters and fans

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        1. Sorry you clearly don’t know how life or insurance work so won’t bother…

  36. I am a motor sports fan in general, living in the US the main form of motor sports is NASCAR. NASCAR does not run races on oval tracks in the rain. If an event could not happen because of inclement weather, it is postponed until the next day. I can not figure out why there would have been an issue running the race on Monday. All of the teams would have been back home in England on Monday night. The next race is also in Europe, not like they had to fly half way around the world. Fans should simply boycott future races until Formula One does the right thing and either refunds the fans or at least offers a substantial discount on next years tickets.

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    1. @Roger Various reasons, including logistics. Masi and Domenicali elaborated.

  37. The fans could get some of their money back (The F3 race happened and which is part of the scheduled programme) but from who? The promoters? they facilitated the race and have to pay Formula 1 for the privilege. Formula 1? They pay the teams (amongst others) regardless of whether the race has two laps behind a a safety car or full racing laps. They teams? They still pay their employees (including drivers) and suppliers regardless. In all seriousness Formula 1 and the promoters should have some kind of joint insurance policy for this as they do in cricket, tennis and other sports affected by rain.

  38. F1 is now a international laughing stock with now they’ve handled this situation. Even friends and relatives who have no interest in racing asked me what happened and expressed dismay that the fans aren’t being refunded. F1 is seeming to have totally misread the room and need to adjust their stodgy policies for the modern world if they want to be more popular and attract new fans. Because they certain,y didn’t attract any new fans today, and drove off quite a few who might have been future fans.

  39. Tarquin Chufflebottom Esq.
    30th August 2021, 6:50

    There was no racing. Stop saying there was.

  40. John Ballantyne
    30th August 2021, 8:48

    Is that what the safety car parade was all about, avoiding refund claims by stating that there was an “event”?

  41. Many guys here are like ‘yeah, I agree with those words but not with tha man saying it. Because I hate him’. Well he EARNED his millions especially from the background he comes from. He is an inspiring story. So kindly stop the hate and enjoy racing as its going to be very close and fun.

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  42. It was the greed of trying to get as many races in the season as possible that has resulted in them having zero flexibility when things like this happen.

  43. I was there and it was my first F1 live inplace. But yah, these two laps under SC was weird and we kno why they did that. Yah nobody is responsible for that, because of weather. But they takes money anyway and spectators just lose. I think the fair solution should be split it. So refund 50 percent prize of ticket should be fair to me. You lose half and spectators too, because of weather.

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  44. What a farce. First, points are awarded for qualfying, now points are awarded for circling the track behind the safety car. Get a grip organisers, this isn’t Formula 1….

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  45. Unfortunately for Domenicali he did not deliver what the fans paid for, the fans got soaked waited in the rain but no race.The money was paid for the race, do it tomorrow, I do not care find a solution, that is his job.
    If I get an airplane ticket and the plane does not fly because of bad weather the company will find excuses, no they will find a solution.
    That is why he is there in my opinion.
    Bad start!

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  46. It’s never too late. They can cancel the points. At least more than six cars went on track!!

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