Belgian GP under red flag following safety car start in heavy rain

The Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix is under a red flag after completing three laps behind the safety car in heavy rain.

Belgian GP under red flag following safety car start in heavy rain

After Saturday’s rain-hit qualifying, heavy showers continued throughout Sunday morning, making for treacherous conditions as drivers completed their laps to the grid - with Sergio Perez crashing at Les Combes en route to the grid which has put him out of the race.

Race control announced in the lead-up to the planned start of the race at 1500 local time at Spa that the formation laps would take place behind the safety car, which ultimately come out of the planned race distance.

But the decision was then taken to delay proceedings by an initial 10 minutes before pushing the start of the formation lap out to 1525 local time.

The safety car led the field away for the formation laps at that time, but the majority of drivers were quick to report low visibility and a lack of grip while following other cars.

During the third lap behind the safety car, race control announced that the start procedure had been suspended and the race had been red flagged, resulting in all of the cars returning to the pits.

Max Verstappen was the only driver to suggest that conditions were OK to race in, but did not have any spray to deal with as he was only following the safety car.

Lando Norris, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Antonio Giovinazzi were all heard on the world feed reporting aquaplaning and poor visibility, struggling to see the red lights on the cars ahead of them.

George Russell, Williams FW43B, arrives on the grid

George Russell, Williams FW43B, arrives on the grid

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo said over team radio that it was “the right call” to red flag the race, while Hamilton reported that rain was leaking into his helmet.

The race distance has been reduced to 43 laps at the time of writing, as two full formation laps were completed, one of which counts as the regular formation lap with the second then coming out of the 44-lap race distance.

Under the updated regulations for 2021, races have a three-hour window in which to be completed from when they start, meaning it must be finished by 1825 local time in Belgium.

shares
comments

Related video

Perez out of Belgian GP after crash on lap to the grid
Previous article

Perez out of Belgian GP after crash on lap to the grid

Next article

Perez allowed to join Belgian GP from pitlane if car repaired during delay

Perez allowed to join Belgian GP from pitlane if car repaired during delay
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022