Hamilton: F1 'made a bad choice' running two laps, but 'money talks'

Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1 “made a bad choice” running only two laps behind the safety car to secure a Belgian Grand Prix result, but that “money talks”.

Hamilton: F1 'made a bad choice' running two laps, but 'money talks'

Heavy rain delayed the start of Sunday’s race at Spa and a wait of almost three hours under a red flag before the safety car was able to lead the field out of the pit lane after 6pm.

The field completed two laps behind the safety car, making the grand prix official and ensuring that a result could be declared, before the red flag returned and officials announced the race would not resume.

Hamilton was classified third for Mercedes, meaning his lead at the top of the F1 championship over Max Verstappen drops to just three points after the Red Bull driver took a half-points victory.

Hamilton wrote on social media during the red flag delay that it was “far too dangerous for us to go out” and that it would "put everyone at risk” running in the wet conditions.

Speaking to Sky Sports in the TV pen after the race had been called, Hamilton said he felt “really disappointed” for the fans and that they were “robbed of a race, adding they deserved their money back.

Asked how he felt about half-points being awarded for the two laps behind the safety car, Hamilton replied: “Money talks. And it was literally, the two laps to start the race, it’s all money scenario.

“So everyone gets their money, and I think the fans should get theirs back too, because unfortunately, they didn’t get to see what they came and paid for.

“It’s a shame we can’t do the race tomorrow. But yeah. And I love this track as well. I’m so sad that we couldn’t do this, but today wasn’t a race.”

Fans under umbrellas during a red flag period

Fans under umbrellas during a red flag period

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Hamilton said there would be “discussions” with those in charge of F1, and criticised the call to complete the two laps to ensure there was an official result.

“I think the sport made a bad choice today,” Hamilton said.

“Of course we wanted to race. There’s a minimum of two laps that you need to do to count as a race, and between that gap of stopping the first time to the second time, it had rained consistently.

“There’s only one reason they sent us out. So that’s why I feel more bad for the fans.”

Hamilton was heard on team radio during the opening formation laps behind the safety car before the first red flag reporting that visibility was poor and that he had little grip due to the wet conditions.

“You couldn't really see five metres in front of you, the car disappears,” Hamilton said.

“So [it was] very difficult down the straights to even know where that flashing light was, and you couldn't even go flat out down, because you didn't know what part of the track that would be on.

“So it's a shame, because of course I wanted to race, and I think it could have been a great race if it hadn't rained so hard.”

The 2021 Belgian Grand Prix now stands as the shortest F1 race in history to have a formal result, beating the 14-lap 1991 Australian Grand Prix.

shares
comments

Related video

Russell: “Doesn’t matter” how maiden F1 podium arrived
Previous article

Russell: “Doesn’t matter” how maiden F1 podium arrived

Next article

FIA: "No ability" to postpone Belgian GP until Monday

FIA: "No ability" to postpone Belgian GP until Monday
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023