Despite waiting and trying for over three hours, today’s Belgian Grand Prix was reduced to laps behind the Safety Car as appalling conditions meant the race never got going properly.
Two laps behind the Safety Car long after the race had been scheduled to finish saw half points be awarded. Max Verstappen ‘won’ from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.
FIA Race Director Michael Masi explained what happened from his point of view to Sky Sports F1.
''We’ve seen the worst of the weather today,'' the Australian said.
''The conditions have not been great all weekend but we’ve had patches where we could get activity done. Today I think the weather got a bit of the better of us.''
Masi was asked if he was pressured to do those two laps late in the day so those half points could be handed out.
''No, it was to see what the conditions were like,'' he said.
''We’re in constant contact with our official weather provider and there was a window that looked like it was provided there; we’ve got the requirement to give a 10-minute warning to everyone, so it was like ‘okay let’s try and see if we can find that window’ and a number of teams have said the same thing.
''They saw that window and could see exactly what we’re trying to do to find that weather window and then the weather came in and got the better of us again.''
Suggestions from certain quarters in the media wondered if the race could be run tomorrow, but Masi quickly shot that down.
''There’s no ability to postpone the race until tomorrow,'' he said.
''From the FIA perspective and jointly with Formula One, safety is paramount for the drivers, the teams and all of the spectators.
''We gave every available opportunity within the rule book, within the provisions of the international sporting code to give us the best opportunity to be able to complete a race. Unfortunately on this occasion we could not go the full distance that was available.''
Normally on a formation lap, the team and driver cannot communicate. However, due to the unusual nature of today’s events, Masi asked the teams to get feedback from their pilots on the conditions.
''I asked all of the teams, particularly the first time around to get the driver’s feedback,'' Masi said.
''During the formation laps, communication between the team and the drivers is not allowed but I asked them to actually ask all of the drivers to get feedback and between all of us on the FIA desk, we’re monitoring all the radio channels to actually get the drivers feedback on what they thought the conditions were like, visibility and did the same when we went back out again.''