Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

Alfa Romeo criticises F1’s handling of Belgian Grand Prix

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Alfa Romeo has issued a statement criticising Formula 1’s handling of yesterday’s truncated Belgian Grand Prix.

The race was abandoned after just three laps of running, all behind the Safety Car, and points awarded on the basis of a single lap.

While supporting F1’s decision not to race given the conditions, Alfa Romeo said the series should have abandoned its attempt to hold the grand prix.

“A huge thank you to all the incredible fans that spent hours in the elements for the race to start,” it said in a statement. “With your patience and determination, you are the true ‘Drivers of the Day’.

“For months, we have been looking forward to having the stands full of fans supporting our team and our sport: unfortunately, we weren’t able to put up a show for you yesterday.

“The decision not to race in these conditions was the right one, in the interest of protecting the safety of the drivers, the marshals and the spectators themselves.

“However, the situation would have been dealt with a lot more appropriately by not having at all the ‘race’ we witnessed yesterday: this outcome hurts us all, but in particular it hurts fans of the sport, who didn’t get the show they came to see.”

Formula 1 should reconsider how it handles similar races in future, the team said.

“We hope lessons were learnt yesterday, lessons that will improve the way we operate in the future and that put the supporters of our sport in the position they deserve to be.

“Once again, our genuine thanks go to all the fans — you were the ones to truly shine yesterday in Spa.”

The team’s drivers Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen lined up 14th and 20th respectively for the race and were classified 13th and 18th on the basis of a single lap of running. Along with Haas, Alfa Romeo were the only team not to score points.

Their next-closest rivals, Williams, scored 10 points, doubling its haul for the season and virtually ending Alfa Romeo’s hopes of beating them to eighth in the championship.

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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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15 comments on “Alfa Romeo criticises F1’s handling of Belgian Grand Prix”

  1. We didn’t get any points. Williams got a rather lot.

    This, of course, hurts us all.

    1. Yep. Pretty much this.

      They went from being 7 points behind Williams to 17 points behind. Now, very difficult for them to catch up.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        30th August 2021, 14:23

        Season’s over for them… unlike Haas that needs the experience for their drivers, Alfa Romeo can just hang back and do nothing.

    2. Same with Hamiltons vocal displeasure. It’s right though if the title is decided by less than 5 points this will leave a very bad taste. In 1985 this race was cancelled as track broke up, nowadays I think they would have ran 2 laps behind the safety car, cars weaving not to warm tyres but to avoid pot holes. As long as fans are fully refunded though, no mention of this, if they dont because a race technically took place that’s awful. I think fans will be refunded but this was done so they dont have to refund broadcasters.

      Reply moderated
      1. János Henkelmann
        31st August 2021, 13:19

        Hamilton will be the last guy to be salty if the loses the championship by 5 points!

  2. I agree. The race should’ve been abandoned two (or more) hours earlier, given the situation was never going to improve anyway. FIA didn’t handle things as well as possible.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th August 2021, 14:09

      @jerejj imo, it’s fine to exhaust all attempts to get the race going within 3 hours or so. Especially when safety is a concern. There should be no constraints when it comes to safety. What makes little sense are the points and even the shortened race (1 hour).

  3. It was clear to everyone except those in charge, when the first start was abandoned that things weren’t going to improve. Admitting early that it would have to be abandoned would benefit everyone – 3 safety car laps benefits no one. Not the drivers, not the fans (whether at the track or at home), not the teams, not the sport and not the track itself.
    The sport has to explain why it wasted everyone’s time just to apparently get a fake result and avoid having to issue refunds/compensation to the TV, Fans and maybe track depending on contract.

    Because, whatever the reason for the second ‘start’, that’s what it looks like – desperation to fulfill contracts and nothing more.
    That’s what it looks like to anyone who saw it – so that’s what will be believed.

    1. No, that was not clear to everyone.

      1. Then everyone wasn’t paying attention.

  4. Im thinking one of the lessons learned is that you fulfill the 2 lap criteria at first try (so that all the legal and economic stuff is fulfilled). Then you can make calm and rational decisions the rest of the afternoon. Now the legal/financial needs made everything into a farce.

  5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    30th August 2021, 14:06

    Alfa Romeo’s season is over. Do they have to race in all the upcoming races or just show up for 1 or 2 races to remain race ready? The cars just need to get over the finish line, or do they?:). They can qualify last and wait 10 seconds at the start to avoid collisions.

    If they need to show up, can they intentionally exceed the 107 rule without any penalty?

  6. If Kimi will retire this year, Alfa Romeo wouldn’t be in position to criticize anything.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th August 2021, 15:10

      @regs not sure what you mean by that.

    2. No, they will still criticize anything, ranging from improper conducts to racing incidents.

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