Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

“Not how you want to win” admits Verstappen as no racing laps are run at Spa

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said his Belgian Grand Prix victory felt somewhat hollow after no racing laps were run at Spa-Francorchamps.

Persistent heavy rain repeatedly thwarted efforts to start the race. Drivers ran just three laps, all behind the Safety Car, over the course of three-and-a-half hours.

Verstappen said his strange victory showed that “in hindsight it was very important to get that pole position.”

“Of course it’s a big shame to not do proper laps. But the conditions were very tricky out there.”

Formula 1 made two attempts to start the race. The first, shortly after the intended start time of three o’clock, was abandoned as the rain intensified.

“I said at 3:30 ‘let’s go’,” Verstappen recalled. “I think the conditions were decent but the visibility was very low. I think if we would have started at three o’clock we would had a better chance. Nevertheless after that it just stayed really wet and it kept raining.

“Of course it’s a win but it’s not how you want to win. I think for today big credit goes to all the fans around the track to stay here the whole day in rain, in the cold, windy conditions. So I think they are actually the bigger winners today.”

After taking just two points from the last five races due to a pair of collisions beyond his control, Verstappen hopes today’s race marks a turning point in his favour.

“We have to keep on pushing, keep on trying, of course, to close it and go ahead,” he said. “We have a few more races to do that and I’m confident that we have a good car, we just need to keep on trying to get a bit more performance out of it.”

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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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27 comments on ““Not how you want to win” admits Verstappen as no racing laps are run at Spa”

  1. Lando going up to Max and “congratulating” him on a great drive was hilarious!

  2. I encourage here Max, George and Lewis to destroy the trophy.

    We cannot accept this.

    1. It’s an F1 race that didn’t run due to inclement weather… It’s not the end of the world or a global nuclear apocalypse, just a disappointing outcome that is recoverable and nowhere near the scale of Indy 05 where politics reared the ugliest of its heads.

    2. I agree it’s frustrating, but encouraging the drivers to destroy their trophies and, worse still, encouraging fans to invade the track, as you did on another thread, is a massive overreaction that helps nobody.

      1. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
        29th August 2021, 18:44

        You misunderstood his point was that they could tape towels to their soles and dry it off

  3. Dismiss Masi now. There’s no other choice.

    1. Why? For not hitting his stop-raining-now button?

      Lots of things to be said about Liberty, regulations, contracts etcetera, but the racing director in this instance did what he could given the circumstances.

      Reply moderated
      1. For the decision to stop the race, it’s not the one I want him dismissed for.
        For the decision to hand out points, yes.

    2. Why? He looked after the safety of all interested parties. He allowed the longest possible opportunity for the race to go ahead. What more do you want of a race director?

      1. Well, he did the right decision in cancelling the race, but giving points? I 100% wouldn’t.

        1. I agree Dave. Thing is Masi could potentially be implicated in legal proceedings if there were another incident similar in nature to Bianchi’s. Therefore I think he had to strike a delicate balance between appeasing race fans and concerns for safety.

          1. That was also the closure.

  4. Silly to go out the second time just to tick a box. It was very obvious during the first minute of the out lap. But no they had to stay out for 2 more.

    1. It is in the rules, also could it also be for it to count as a ‘race’, so the teams can get income? I don’t understand some comments, if the drivers themselves say it is too wet, why do some commenters think they know better? Just go, crash ten cars, and possibly injure several drivers? Is that really worth it?
      People can criticize Masi all they want, but he has the responsibility in the end. Teams and Drivers are probably consulted, but he must say what happens. After seeing the W-series crash, Lando’s, Aitken and the dangerous situations in the Porsche race, I don’t blame them.

      1. Yes, unfortunately many here would be ok with someone getting severly hurt or dying if they could have some entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. It’s sickening.

      2. The problem isn’t that there wasn’t any racing, we can all agree there vas no visibility, and no conditions for racing.
        The problem is they didn’t outright cancel the race, but forced a minimum amount of laps to claim a race was held today.
        Whatever their reasons, money, PR…, as a long time racing fan, I can’t say I saw any racing today, and regardless what F1 or Massy say.

  5. Yesterday’s cualli was probably as demanding as many races. I think half points is more fair than no points at all. It would have been incredibly unfair for Russell to get nothing for one of the best qualy laps performances in the history of F1.

    1. Agree with this.

  6. Let’s not gloss over that this outcome is also a side effect of Liberty Media’s decision to run back to back races (to haul in more profit) and thus there was no way to reschedule it.

    1. Yeah, they said the only date was in November, good luck driving in the snow ;)

    2. They should reschedule and run it again.

  7. Anybody remembers South Korea 2010? Reconnaissance laps behind safety car, race start suspension, standing water on track, etc. were all factors, but the rain did ease off eventually I guess, though they barely finished before nightfall.

  8. Jules ran under heavy rain; Jules would have preferred a red flag.

  9. Definite proof that DSR is essential! You saw it with your own eyes: No DSR = not a single passing move. So quit complaining against it.

  10. “but I’ll take the points anyway.”

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