Ecclestone: Belgian GP will Go Ahead

Rain could turn Sunday's potentially title-deciding Belgian Formula One Grand Prix into a procession behind the safety car, drivers feared on Friday

Ecclestone: Belgian GP will Go Ahead

Some even wondered whether a race could be held in the sort of conditions that kept them off the track in practice, although Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone swiftly dismissed such talk.

"They've been racing in these conditions for years," he told BBC radio. "There'll be a race on Sunday."

Renault's 24-year-old Fernando Alonso, who can become the youngest champion if he beats McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen by four points at Spa, did just one installation lap at reduced speed in torrential rain.

The weather was too much even for Ferrari's seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher, who had said earlier that he was praying for rain to give his struggling team a chance of winning in unpredictable conditions.

"It was just too wet to go out," said the German after an afternoon session red-flagged when Red Bull's Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed out and that saw just three cars try to do a lap.

"I think we would have needed a boat propeller to power our way around the track.

"The forecast is for more rain and if that is the case on Sunday, I can see us having to start the race behind the safety car. Maybe our tifosi (fans) have done too good a job with their rain dance," added Schumacher.

Massive Accident

Liuzzi, Red Bull's third driver who will not race on Sunday anyway, went through the daunting Eau Rouge sweep at speed before hitting a pool of water.

"If it's raining like that on Sunday it would be too wet," said BAR's Jenson Button.

"You are not in control of the car in any way because as soon as you hit a big puddle like Liuzzi did, that's it and it could be a massive accident."

There has not been a wet race so far this season but the forecast for Saturday and Sunday predicts an 80 percent chance of rain on both days.

"I think today was a bit too extreme," said Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn.

"If it was as wet on Sunday as today, they would have to red flag it and suspend the race and get started again once it had eased it a little bit.

"It's always hopeful when the cars are running around because they shift the water.

"What we saw today was a situation with no cars running and maximum accumulation of water on the track. There was a river running through Eau Rouge and that would have been difficult."

shares
comments
Friday's Press Conference - Belgium
Previous article

Friday's Press Conference - Belgium

Next article

Drivers' Title is Renault's Main Aim

Drivers' Title is Renault's Main Aim
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022