Spa spectators who saw no racing offered prize draw for 2022 tickets

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Spectators who attended this year’s Belgian Grand Prix, which was abandoned after three laps behind the Safety Car in heavy rain, will not be offered refunds on the cost of their tickets.

The race promoter, Spa Grand Prix, has written to fans who contacted them to complain over the curtailed August event and offered a compensation package.

While the fans are not being offered any form of remuneration for their tickets, which can cost several hundreds of Euros each, they are being given the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win seats at next year’s race. A total of 170 seats will be given away: 20 ‘VIP’, 50 ‘Gold’ and 100 ‘Silver’. These can be redeemed for Sunday alone or the whole grand prix weekend.

As the Spa-Francorchamps has a capacity of around 70,000, competition for the tickets could be high.

The spectators who attended the race are also being offered one F1 TV pass per person and a chance to attend an “exclusive event” on the Thursday prior to next year’s race. Fans have until the end of January to claim the offer.

The Belgian Grand Prix was officially F1’s shortest-ever race. Drivers completed just three laps, all behind the Safety Car, as race control tried in vain to find a window of opportunity to start the event despite persistent heavy rain. The race result was eventually taken based on a single lap of running, and half-points awarded to drivers.

“We were disappointed for all the fans that the race could not go to full distance, but the safety of the drivers, marshals and spectators was, and must always be, the priority,” the promoter told fans. “The weather conditions did not improve sufficiently to complete more laps.”

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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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94 comments on “Spa spectators who saw no racing offered prize draw for 2022 tickets”

  1. Way to take care of your fans!

    1. Great offer, well done!

      1. It is an absolute disgrace. I paid over €600 to see nothing!! Never ever will I visit a race again and they can put that “prize draw” up their asz!

    2. I’m surprised they haven’t blamed them for not understanding the weather too.

    3. Remember that the next time the millionaire drivers and team principals heap praise on the fans. Where are they now?

      Spa itself is in the unfortunate position of having to cough up the F1 hosting fee, and then when the F1 drivers and teams refuse to put a race on, Spa is left to sort out the mess.

      1. I don’t think the race organisers at Spa can absolve themselves of blame as they took the money and almost certainly made a profit.
        If they can’t afford the refund they should host a race. it is unfair to take honest folks money and not hold a race. There was not even one corner of green flag racing.
        Historic circuit or not.

        1. Should not host a race

  2. I can’t say what I really think about the Spa organisers.

  3. Now I’m not sure what’s the worst joke.
    That non-race or the fact that only about 0,24 % of the places will be offered ?

    As a Belgian I’m very ashamed about Spa being such a massive disappointment for everyone.
    In the meantime, the promoters have visibly been entirely let down by Domenicali and the billion-business F1.

  4. “We were disappointed for all the fans that the race could not go to full distance,” the promoter told fans.

    The understatement of the year.

    But we just wanted the money and if we declared no race we would of had to refund the spectators!

    1. I guess this is complicated by the fact that the local promoter did indeed have to pay without refund the money for staging the race they send to Liberty (I think they send money up front even) @andyfromsandy, so they would end up with a huge loss (even more than what they lose normally) – this would have to paid by the local authorities, who in the end fund the race.

      But it does mean that the fans are pretty badly screwed, yeah.

      1. Be happy that your country hosts a race. Something like this is part of the risk when you buy a ticket. All comes across as a bunch of entitled people complaining. You got to see alot more than many fans around d the world. Be grateful for what you have.

        1. Cronies, I really don’t even know where to start on this one. Sure, all tickets say this is one of the risks. And technically the FIA/Liberty/the Spa promoter gave the fans a race as defined in the rules, so what’s to complain, right?

          But then one has to look at:
          – The promoter (and the region) got a “race” with largely unhappy fans but they did have to pay for that race (and no, tickets do not by pay for the cost by a large chunk).
          – Money that could have been spent repairing the cost of the ravage from the weather only weeks up front in the region.

          Oh, and no, I do not have ANYTHING from it than any other fan sitting in front of their paid TV package (F1TV in my case) watching an “event” that one could only technically call a race. The biggest excitement was seeing Norris get out of his car unhurt on Saturday. Belgium is not my country, I was not there, did not pay for a ticket. But I really do feel that the thousands of fans sitting in that cold rain deserved more from the sport. As was, it was a blemish on an otherwise pretty epic season.

          1. It is not the promoters fault it rained, why you want to sink them? If you bought a ticket you knew the risks… you not entitled to anything, sometimes that is how life works… get over it.

            Be happy just to be part of it, there are millions who will never even get that small opportunity…..

          2. +1, going to an F1 race is expensive and can represent quite an outlay to a lot of people. F1 teams and liberty, not the circuit, should have ´manned up’ and offered 50% refunds to those fans whom sat in the rain for 3 days in a row showing their support for the F1 circus. Ive only been to 1 race so far, and found the experience a bit mixed tbh, but would consider going again if the conditions were right. Had I been to the belgian GP I’d certainly stay away forever considering I paid for something and got nothing but a flu. A partial refund would have been a sign of respect at least.

        2. The Grand Prix at Spa is all camping for spectators, it’s not exactly Abu Dhabi or Monaco. I’m sure many save all year to pay for it, it might well be the only holiday they have all year.

          For them to get strung along for hours sitting in the soaking rain in hope of getting to see at least something meaningful only to end up watching 2 laps behind the safety car, the purpose of which being to deny them a refund is horrendously insulting. Be grateful for that? Absolutely not!

          1. I have been to several races and always come back to the same conclusion that they are best watched on TV!

  5. Ungrateful fans, hey had so much action in those 3 laps. It was clearly a race because points were given.

    1. I totally agree @ivan-vinitskyy
      How dare these ungrateful wretches complain about being allowed into one of the most prestigious racing venues on Earth where they got to soak up (literally) the atmosphere of one of the most remarkable events on this years F1 Calendar.

      Kids today eh! ;)

  6. That’s hardly a “compensation”
    Almost an insult for all those fans.

    Maybe the drivers and fom can add something to it.

    1. “He will create a lot of goodwill when he pays for the return of the money.
      Only pocket money for Lewis but make or brake for spa.”

      Quoting you at the time erijke when you suggested Hamilton should pay the refunds himself.
      After all he pointed out that “money talks” at the time of the race.

      1. I’m not a fan of erikje‘s contributions here, but he seems pretty consistent in suggesting Hamilton (then) and drivers (now) to contribute :P

        To me it just shows that the comment section nowadays is more used as a mud slinging battleground between the 2 dug–in ‘driver fans’ camps and it’s hard to find contributions of true ‘racing fans’.

        1. I am a no fan of Lewis. Just highlighting the hypocrisy.

          1. Just highlighting the hypocrisy.

            probably you do not see Lewis as a driver.. i can relate to that ;)

    2. Hmm, but you seem ok with the 12.5 points that Max was awarded. Do the math! Oops!

      1. @freelittlebirds I’m surprised Erikje hasn’t somehow managed to claim this is all Hamilton’s fault.

      2. Yeah, gifted 2 (!!!) farcial GP wins combined with an ugly and dangerous driving that was most times not penalised makes Max a worthy 2021 champion.

        1. And what a great season with a well deserved winner we got.
          Look at the international press and the reactions on sites like youtube.
          All over the world they cheered for this remarkable win.
          Oh yes, there are lewis “fans” still grieving. But it will subside in time..

          1. to enjoy the great pass to WDC again:
            https://youtu.be/6ZQbQVQFh4Y

          2. Why do you turn an article about (largely dutch) fans being ripped off into a fanatical gloat?

          3. I would guess it’s largely because his comments were in response to others who turned an article about (largely dutch) fans being ripped off into a fanatical whinge….

          4. Adavethechicken

            nto a fanatical gloat?

            something you started and now start to moan. Probably to much influenced by lewis ;)

          5. Trollen zijn hier niet nuttig.

          6. erikje , is this going to be another of your xenophobic rants about how all foreigners are liars and frauds that is being promoted by that Dutch ultra nationalist right wing extremist group you are part of?

      3. @freelittlebirds You’re forgetting it’s the FIA we’re dealing with.

        They probably tried to award double points in light of the “torrential conditions”.

        1. Ha-ha yeah, fair point:)

  7. This is appalling treatment of those who bought tickets. This more than anything that happened in Abu Dhabi diminishes my respect for the bodies running GP races.

  8. This is very, very bad, and will only serve to fuel suspicions that the primary reason for the three-lap parade was to avoid having to give refunds.

    1. Problem is, what’s the alternative? Not run the race, issue refunds, no Spa GP ever again.

      1. An alternative: give 50% discount on 2022 tickets for people who bought tickets on 2021.
        Due to many factos, 2022 GP will probably not be a full capacity in SPA – so the organizer would see a 100% on those empty seats.
        And given the backlash, they lost some of the potential audience.
        So, a 50% discount would mean less that this in revenue loss.

        1. The organiser will up prices then to off-set the losses and then who wins?

        2. That sounds great to me, but it would have to include also a refund of 50% of the entry fee charged to the Spa organizers by FOM. That would mean everyone involved contributes, and not just the fans (what actually happened) or the fans and the Spa organizers (as per your alternative).

      2. Way worser than the 2005 USGP … at least THAT went the full distance. Fans were NOT amused. Note: “Monteiro stayed behind to celebrate his first and only podium finish, and the first for a Portuguese driver.[29]”

      3. Coventry Climax
        21st December 2021, 16:06

        Might it be that ‘no Spa ever again’ is exactly F1’s objective? There’s so many more dollars to hoard from going East.

        There was a more than decent article here by Dieter Rencken about how F1 certainly has the option, calendar-wise, to avoid the time of year where Spa gets the most rain, but they choose not to.

    2. I agree with your “three lap parade” comment. A race implies competition took place after the start and before the finish. Since the cars weren’t allowed to overtake then calling it a “parade” sounds completely fair to me. Calling it a race is very generous.

  9. With government’s closing the economies down again in a foolhardy attempt to stop a virus, Spa are in the realms of having no Grand Prix at all. It’s either this or no Grand Prix at Spa ever again. Prices will probably be much higher next year too. Utter shambles.

  10. Whilst I have *some* sympathy for the position the promoter was put in by FIA/F1, it’s hardly a satisfactory way to treat fans and customers. Expect a lower turnout in 2022 and probably for a couple of years. F1 cannot afford to have anything like this ever happen again, otherwise it will struggle to get people to the circuits, although I’m not convinced F1 is bothered, as the promoter takes the risk. Circuits will have to look at the wording of their contracts again come next renewal. As for fans, they can only view with their wallets when making future decisions.

    1. I agree. But there is no reason it will not happen again.
      Only Hamilton, of the drivers, had the balls to call it out at the time for what it was.
      Ironic, therefore, that most of the fans who were ripped off at Spa were supporting Max.

    2. Yeah, I feel somewhat bad for the position of the promoter too @kartguy07, although with Max being on a run, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being a sell-out orange sea again this year.

  11. This is what you get when your sport becomes afraid of driving in rain

    1. F1 isnt a Sport.

      1. still in denial i see ;)
        It will pass..
        https://youtu.be/8G1gGM9XxdU

        1. Being in denial would be me thinking F1 is a Sport

          1. Better line:

            Being in denial would be me thinking

          2. A better example would be, perhaps, ‘Max fans are in denial that Max really comes from Belgium’

    2. Every outdoor sport I can think of has been called off for heavy enough rain (probably indoor sports have as well), and every sport I can think of has been accused of being fixed.

  12. The word “euro” should not be capitalised.

    Just give Sunday attenders back the value of a Sunday ticket. I can appreciate that the organisers do not want to take that loss, but that risk is surely calculated into it when they started to charge people money for taking the trouble to attend.

  13. Oh, the irony hahaha
    Fans are being ‘refunded’ because ‘there was no race’, but points were awarded to drivers on the basis of that ‘no race’?
    Hilarious.

  14. This is on both LM and the Promoter. Neither has done anything to protect the fans. The Promoter could have taken out insurance in the event of no race or LM could have insisted. Instead they push ahead with 3 laps to avoid and refund.

    It will be interesting to see if the F1 fans can get together and protest/petition for a fairer outcome.

    1. They would have taken far more money from pay per view than the tickets.
      No refund for that either.

  15. No problem. Lewis wanted to reimburse the fans 😁

  16. Disgusting.

    Liberty/FOM should have stepped in to find a solution. If they’d refunded or discounted Spa’s hosting fee the circuit would have been able to compensate the fans properly. Instead they waltz off with the full fee as if the race had gone ahead as normal, and the fans who spent hours in the rain get shafted.

    I know the weather wasn’t Liberty’s fault but they’ve pocketed the TV money, the trackside sponsorship money and 21 other hosting fees this season so I think they can afford to miss out on profit from 1/22 of the calendar.

    1. Agreed, circuit can’t afford to take the revenue hit, not sure why people are blaming them they literally can’t afford it.

      FOM cancelled the race. They should pay.

      Disagree with it being cancelled, should have started. But it wasn’t started, so should have been put back to another date. If tha date was next year, then fine. Refund the hosting fees so the fans don’t have to pay again.

      All common sense, but FOM won’t budge.

  17. If Spa had of been located more towards the oil fields I’m sure refunds would of been possible.

  18. F1 is becoming consecutive at last! One farce followed by another farce…

    1. And not to miss your farcial contribution ;)

  19. I struggle to believe, with record long seasons, hosted in countries who obviously have deep pockets to secure their spots on the calender, Liberty couldn’t offer a better recompense themselves – either by waiving Spa’s fee for next year and allowing them to refund ticket holders directly, or by working with them to provide replacement tickets for next years event.

    1. Does Jean Todt still travel on his private jet airplane? That alone needs much money.

      1. Irrelevant, as Todt is out.

  20. Just be grateful that Masi wasn’t asked to decide on a response.
    He would probably have blamed the fans for the rain and awarded all FIA members a pay rise to alleviate the trauma of being disliked.

    1. @nullapax Or awarded double points in light of the “torrential conditions”, citing Force Majure or something

  21. I attended the whole weekend but didn’t receive any email from the organisators… I hope I will get my compensation because this was ridiculous….

  22. Well, I know that SPA won’t be the place I’ll be visiting so soon. I don’t get to see F1 live every day and I can’t afford to be robbed by someone, which is not as bad as being made a fool. This is not just a bad way to handle the situation, this is criminally bad. They either desperately need the money or they simply don’t care about their reputation and the future of their business. At the same time, I don’t see F1 being willing to work with them to find a solution. The worst thing is that they gave undeserved (half) points to drivers only so they don’t have to give the money back. What kind of organization is this?

  23. Ambassador, with these Rocher you are really spoiling us..

  24. It’s easy to say the organisers should refund the tickets for the race – did Liberty refund the fees for hosting the race? I highly doubt it….. It seems as though Liberty are the ones who have profited here – not the Belgian GP organisers.

  25. Didn’t hamilton say he would give a gift to those spectators at the spa race (I never attended a f1 race before you wonder)? All threads I found on google about the subject failed to answer about what the hamilton’s gift really is, I wonder why.

    Likewise, grosjean mercedes test, maybe in 2030, what I’m saying is mercedes and people associated with them don’t seem very honest.

  26. I was in Spa with a 3 days tickets and I’ve not received any mail yet. Fun to know that they say this before on press and than (I hope) by mail…and also from the Lewis gift no news, I’ve applied and I’ve wrote to the instagram page 3 times but they never visualized the message…somebody is in my situation?
    As F1 die hard fan I’m super disappointed about all this situation, so angry

    1. I also visited the GP in Spa (this was the worst organised event i’ve ever attended, crowd control was poor – lorries driving in the opposite direction of streams of people leaving the circuit – its a miracle noone was injured. …Anyway, i bought an overpriced sunday only Bronze ticket…and although I fully understanding the reasons for not staging the race, it is obvious what was done to avoid compensation. I enquired at info@spagrandprix.com (on 30.08) about compensation options available. The reply as reported above arrived via email yesterday…it cannot be classed as compensation, more of a goodwill gesture…i would have definately bought discounted (not actually sure of the rate to persuade me) tickets for 2022….yes the situation is dissapointtng, and i won’t be investing in F1 races again….

      1. I’ve write to them many times, including today, I’ve received nothing! I came from Italy only for GP, I take bus and was always late, on Sunday I risked to lose it because “the race” finished at 19..you can’t image how I’m angry

        1. totally understand and the logistics fro you must have been like a very bad dream…we “only” had to drive back to Germany..still a long wet trip with no entertainment at the end…..hope you have better luck in the future

    2. Bart Molenstra
      31st December 2021, 8:13

      I was there on sunday (see my post) and haven’t received any mail of the organisation so far either.
      Now I have sent them a mail, wait and see …

  27. Oh I get it: they’re run by an airline

  28. PATHETIC!!!!!! I hope the next race is full of empty seats.

  29. Honestly, this sounds like a Belgium problem, not an F1 problem. Imagine having such weak consumer law. Of course the organisers are going to do whatever they can to get out of their obligations.

  30. Does anybody know a link from where we can get this free year F1 TV pro and opt-in for the lottery?

  31. Raffle tickets? What’s next lootboxes?
    The least they should offer is Friday/Saturday gratis.

  32. That’s poor. They should all at least get 50-75% back from the Sunday if nothing else – I know the F1 race is the main event but there was other racing on over the weekend so I can understand not doing a full refund.

    Hopefully they have a change of heart.

  33. Additionally I think it should come from Liberty/F1 management, not the race organisers/track owners. Any race could have this issue – it wouldn’t be fair for a specific race to suffer due to this sort of thing.

    If you think about it people got to see less of a race than the USGP when there were 6 cars, and they all got a refund.

  34. Fred Flintstone
    22nd December 2021, 11:52

    Following Masi’s Yabba Dabba Doo they should refund everyone at Abu Dhabi too… I mean that wasn’t really racing either (despite Masi’s claims otherwise).

  35. only in 2021 could a race, that wasn’t a race, decide a championship and rip off fans for 3 circuits behind a safety car. Pitiful.

  36. All the anger on here needs to be guided towards the FIA AND Liberty Media, rather than the track owners. The fee for holding the race will still have been taken, so there is no way the circuit would have been able to afford refunds for everyone that bought tickets. If Liberty had waived their fee for this ‘non’ race, then I am certain refunds would have been issued. Being from the UK Spa is actually my favorite race to go to, and it is along with Suzuka the best F1 race track on the planet. It would sadden me beyond belief if we lost this race to the history books due to the utter greed by the owners of the sport……….. especially when Monaco doesnt even pay a race fee to hold their race. My personal opinion is that the race should have gone ahead, as the track did not look undriveable……

  37. I guess this is also a problem of perception – whereas the rain-drenched fans think the race was a farce, that’s just the wrong perception and the FIA/FOM/Spa all did absolutely nothing wrong…

    /s

  38. Racing Incident
    22nd December 2021, 18:01

    Now let’s see if Michael Masi loses his job.

  39. Bart Molenstra
    31st December 2021, 8:04

    I was there on that gloomy and rainy sunday, together with my 16 year old son. For him it was his first time attending a F1 race.
    The day started with a 250 km drive from my home-town to Spa, followed bij a 12 km hike from ‘a’ parking space to the circuit.
    Then sitting approx. 5 hours in rain and cold to see the cars twice (warming up/formation lap). By the time the actual race was run (what a farce !) we had already left.
    12 km hike back to the car (wet and cold) and another 250 km drive home.
    Can you imagine my son’s dissapointment ?

    Now we are offered some kind of lottery, 170 tickets for 70.000 possible participants, as a compensation.
    And even entering that lottery isn’t simple as information about how to enter is almost impossible to find.

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