Spa-Francorchamps, 2023

Sprint race and sprint race qualifying delayed due to rain

2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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The qualifying session for today’s Belgian Grand Prix sprint race has been delayed due to heavy rain at Spa-Francorchamps.

As a result, the starting time for this afternoon’s sprint race has also been delayed.

The sprint race qualifying session was due to begin at noon local time at Spa. However heavy rain began falling after the morning’s Formula 3 race and continued to fall as the start time approached.

With 13 minutes to go until the start of the session race control confirmed the session would be delayed. The session eventually began 35 minutes later than scheduled.

F1’s sporting regulations state the sprint race qualifying session must begin “no less than four and a half (4.5) hours before the scheduled start of the sprint” race. The delay in the start of the sprint race qualifying session therefore meant the sprint race starting time also had to be delayed.

The FIA later confirmed the sprint race start time had been postponed to 5:05pm.

Had the sprint race qualifying session not gone ahead, the FIA confirmed it would have used the results of yesterday’s qualifying session to decide the starting order of the sprint race.

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2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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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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7 comments on “Sprint race and sprint race qualifying delayed due to rain”

  1. Coventry Climax
    29th July 2023, 11:25

    No, no, no, you’re drawing conclusions here: It said ‘will be delayed’, which is a prediction. If it had said ‘is delayed’, that would have been a decision.

  2. Whilst I do think that choosing Spa for a sprint race wasn’t a good call at all, I also think we may be better served by being more accepting of postponements and cancellations.

    Could things be better? Yeah, we’ve had some silly red flags etc, two lap ‘races’, race schedules and it sucks to be sat on the grass in a poncho watching nothing.

    But I don’t see spray guards, or wording of certain rules changing any of that. Sometimes it’s just too wet to race. We’re only a month out from a fatally right here in the extreme wet.

    Sensible might be boring, but at least everyone gets to go home.

    1. I wonder what MotoGP riders think of that.

    2. The problem is the spray though, you see that drivers immediately go in for inters when they start the race, so if conditions were far worse than that, they could still handle with full wets, they just have too much spray atm.

  3. Something i’ve been told a few times the past few years is that the biggest hurdle for F1 in the wet now is the spray which has gotten significantly worse the past few years partly because the tires are now clearing more water & partly because the new ground effect era cars seem to be throwing more water up from the floor through the diffuser than older generation cars used to. And for whatever reason the way the tires & cars are throwing the water up now also seems to be making the spray thicker & harder to see through than used to be the case along with it lingering in the air for longer.

    After the 2021 race 2 ‘lap’ mess I was told that most of the drivers were actually of the view that track conditions were reasonably drivable but that they just couldn’t see anything & as I alluded to above with the ground effect cars that seems to have become a bigger problem as more spray than even then is been thrown up now.

    If you look at FP1 yesterday until there was that brief period of very heavy rain which led to Logan Sargeant & a few others aquaplaning the track was drivable for the most part and the biggest factor that stopped more cars going out was visibility.

  4. Can’t they build a replica of Spa in Vegas?

    1. @bullfrog please don’t give them ideas.

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