Explained: The possible scenarios if rain disrupts F1 Belgian GP weekend

The FIA is willing to be flexible as rain threatens to disrupt the schedule for the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix over the next three days.

Raidillon circuit detail

While practice sessions lost to bad weather are a regular risk at Spa, the fact that this year it is a sprint weekend has made it more complicated than usual, with two qualifying sessions and two races to squeeze in.

Possible scenarios were discussed at the regular team managers' meeting on Friday morning.

In essence, it has been agreed that the priority is to have a proper normal qualifying session ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix.

Although in theory, Friday's FP1 session could have counted for the grand prix grid if today's late afternoon qualifying session is rained out, an alternative scenario is that the Saturday slot currently earmarked for the shootout ahead of the sprint could become qualifying for the main race, assuming that conditions allow it to take place.

That grid could also count for the sprint even if it doesn't run the usual shootout rules in terms of tyre usage and session length.

Confirming that FP1 would not be used to set a grid order, an FIA statement said: "We can confirm that the teams have been informed that Free Practice will not be used to set the grid for either the Sprint or the Grand Prix this weekend.

"This has been done to ensure that teams do not treat the first session of the weekend as a competitive session. While the situation regarding the weather is constantly evolving, the priority will be to run a qualifying session for the Grand Prix.

"Other sessions may be cancelled or rescheduled to facilitate this, and if it is impossible to run a qualifying then the grid will be set by championship order."

If either the sprint or the main race does not run to their full distance, this weekend could see the first implementation of the new points arrangements agreed after the controversial 2021 Belgian GP, when half points were awarded despite the field running behind the safety car and no racing laps being completed.



Photo by: Erik Junius

Under the new arrangements for both the sprint and the grand prix, the field has to complete at least two racing laps with no safety car or VSC intervention for points to be awarded.

For the sprint, there are just two possible outcomes. If fewer than 50% of the scheduled 15 laps are completed, no points are awarded. If the sprint runs beyond 50% distance, full points will be allocated on the usual 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for the top eight.

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However, there are four possible scenarios for the 44-lap grand prix. If the leader has completed fewer than two laps, no points will be awarded.

If the race has run between two laps and 25% distance, only the top five will receive points, on the basis of 6-4-3-2-1.

If the result is called between 25% and 50% distance, points go to the top nine with the allocation 13-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.

If the finish is made official between 50% and 75% distance, points go to the top 10 on the basis 19-14-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1. Finally, beyond 75% distance, full points are awarded.

As noted, in all cases two flying laps with no safety car have to be completed for points to be awarded.

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