Formula 1 should introduce rules to cater for the possibility races may have to be cancelled, says McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl.
Many drivers criticised the decision to award points, including Lando Norris, who said it was “not a race”. Seidl said F1 should change its rules to award points based on qualifying results if future races are cancelled.
“If a race cannot happen – which can happen, we need to be clear as well on that, it’s an outdoor sport, we could have, strictly speaking, an entire weekend that is washed away.
“But let’s say if a race can’t happen, just to put it clear in the regulations that that you then award at least a few points based on the qualifying results, maybe half points or whatever. I think that needs to be discussed in detail. I would be fine with that.”
The decision to send cars out for three final laps behind the Safety Car at Spa prompted claims it had only been done to ensure points would be awarded for the race. Awarding points for qualifying would “avoid this discussion,” Seidl noted.
“Rewarding points for qualifying result if the race doesn’t happen is something I could imagine could be introduced,” he said. “From my point of view it would be also fair, because that’s the last point during a weekend where you had a fair competition between all competitors. Why not give a reward to them for that if a race can’t happen.
“It’s the same as when qualifying can’t happen then you take the free practice result instead.”
FIA president Jean Todt confirmed Formula 1’s rules will be examined closely following the events of Spa. Other areas of confusion and contention arose, such as why the race was deemed to have lasted the two laps necessary for any points to be awarded when the official classification was taken based on a single lap. “For sure we have to look into that and see what can be improved,” said Seidl.
“At the same time we all sat around the table when these rules were developed, every single team was involved and we were all happy with that. And many of these rules were in place for decades. And in the end, it wouldn’t have changed a bad experience for the fans on Sunday afternoon. So again, for me, that was not that much of a big issue, to be honest.
“As long as you need to learn from it and see, can we make it more simple at the same time, you also need to accept that with the regulations that are in place, we have to cover a lot of different scenarios. Last Sunday obviously a lot of different scenarios came together but in the end from my point of view were handled within the rules that are available from the FIA side in dialogue with us.”
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