Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali insisted the late attempt to start the Belgian Grand Prix was not made for financial reasons.Spa-Francorchamps thwarted efforts to begin yesterday’s race. Two attempts were made to start the 12th round of the championship but on both occasions the Safety Car remained on-track and drivers were led back into the pits
Several drivers pointed out the track condition were no better the second time around than the first. Lewis Hamilton claimed the cars were only sent back onto the track so F1 could claim a race had taken place, satisfying their commercial obligations.
This claim was refuted by Domenicali. “When I hear that there was some commercial discussion beyond that, it’s totally not true,” he said. “When we’re talking about racing there is responsibility, there is a clear process and these things are not connected at all.”
Domenicali pointed out F1 would still have received its income from the race promoter if the cars had not left the pits for the final attempt to start the race. “Absolutely. That’s why I said to consider that as something related to a commercial implication is wrong.”
The sport’s commercial boss backed the FIA’s decision not to begin the race on safety grounds.
“For the people of course it’s a shame because everyone wants to see proper race,” he said. “But I think that the decision taken by race control is absolutely correct.
“There was the wish and the will to do the race and as soon as there was information, I was following what was the situation there. There was a window of possible weather improvement to try to go and try to do the race. Then as soon as they restarted, the comments were pretty clear.”
“Despite the fact the disappointment for everyone, I think that in term of management was the right thing to do,” he added.
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2021 Belgian Grand Prix
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