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
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021